About

"Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is 
thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity." 

- Gary Ryan Blair

The experiment with mass consumption is failing quickly. Humans have broken the sacred trust with the earth. Increased quality of life has given way to unprecedented rates of depression, suicide, environmental degradation, and a growing gap between rich and poor.

The consumer culture was invented in the Roaring Twenties to exploit the masses (and the environment) through the mass production of new consumer goods. Now, just 90 years later, we stand on the precipice of collapse with consumers, the global economy, and the environment tapped out.

Not wanting to be passive global citizens, my partner and I upgraded our efforts to lower our ecological footprint. Our approach does not dwell on sacrifice, discipline and hardship, although it could involve one or all those things from time to time. Rather, we emphasize the joyful aspects of our simple life - using fewer resources, consuming less energy, and being free to pursue dreams and goals that are important to us.

In our experience, a slower, less complicated life with fewer possessions and desires has given us a calm and sense of freedom that was only fleeting when we were fully plugged into the system. Not that we didn't enjoy being plugged in, and we were good at it, but as J. Krishnamurti said, "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." We wanted to get better, and we wanted to help make society better, too.

What we needed to develop to get better was contentedness. It is the antidote to consumerism and its onslaught of manipulative, enticing advertising. We have fewer things, and appreciate what we have more. We are working to live, rather than living to work. Our lives revolve around our immediate locality - we like it so much that we rarely travel.

We choose a small footprint, [more] sustainable life because we feel that global conditions give us no other responsible choice. Plus it is more enjoyable than the alternative for us. Lao Tzu said, “Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

My partner and I hope NBA will inspire readers to take action and institute simple changes in their lives, their communities, and around the world. Changes that will free us from lives we don't feel right about, and that will create a more balanced planet.

There is nothing lacking - we have everything we need to turn things around. We have many reasons to turn them around. Let's seize the opportunity.

50 comments:

  1. Just found your site and love it. Keep up the good work....I am with you all the way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dorothy,

    Welcome to NBA. I am so happy you found us, and thank you for the support and encouragement. Together we will turn this thing around.

    Gregg

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your blog is awesome. Great read! Looking forward to the future post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jason,

    Welcome. I am glad you found us. Simple living is an idea whose time has come... again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just came across your blog as questions in my head have just got deeper and bigger. Some of your articles definitely helped, keep up the good work

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mirchi,

    Thanks for visiting our little blog, and for commenting. We are all in this together, and we like to know how other people are thinking about the things we have questions about.

    We have more questions than answers, but feel it is our responsibility to address these questions, then share what we find out.

    We are happy that some of our work has helped you, and hope that you continue to visit and comment.

    Thanks again. The encouragement and support is appreciated. Keep on questioning!

    Gregg

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    Please, keep posting, your thoughts are so inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Keep visiting, and commenting!

      Delete
  8. Love your site and your approach to sustainable living. I've added this site to my humble blogroll and I'll be checking back regularly. Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les,

      Glad to hear you are enjoying NBA. I will be adding "Lets Not Pretend" to my blogroll as you are doing good stuff that will definitely appeal to NBA readers.

      Thanks for including us on your site.

      Cheers!

      Delete
  9. wow this site is amazing, i have been reading all the older posts and im in, finally some common sense. Would love to know more about you, are you mortgage free, do you work? How many hours do you work? I work from home for myself and try to only work a few hours a day, I am very frugal, I choose time over money any day!!

    Rod
    in Florida

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rod,

      Welcome to NBA. We are glad you found us, and thank you for showing interest in our project.

      Linda and I are 100% mortgage free because we rent, and always have. Currently we rent an inexpensive 580 sq.ft. older condo on the ocean in Sooke, BC. It is a place we love.

      We are also 100% debt free.

      I work full time, in a manner of speaking, caring for Linda, who has had multiple sclerosis since 1995. Only the past 3 years or so has she been dependent and needed full time care.

      In the recent past I have worked as a gardener on a contract basis, but now I find myself busy enough with my responsibilities at home.

      When we were working people in the big city (I was an elementary school teacher, and Linda worked in a coop outdoor store) we saved money like crazy. We paid off our student loans and didn't do much of anything except go camping whenever we could.

      Over 10 years we saved a nice nest egg, and if we are very careful, it should sustain us for the foreseeable future.

      Not buying anything, or at least as little as we can, helps stretch our savings. There isn't much we want, anyway, except for time and freedom.

      Take care, Rod, and please do return and let us know how your own simple living project is going down in Florida.

      Delete
  10. The deeper I get into this, the less I need anything. It’s amazing, really. I keep coming back to your blog for wisdom and reassurance. It’s good to know that there are like-minded souls out there. Blessings to you and your partner on your journey. ~♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing how much we DON'T need. People make huge sacrifices to amass material wealth. It is great that you have found that less is more.

      We are happy that you are finding support here - that is what it is all about. With comments such as yours, NBA has become a place we find support, too.

      If we limit our desires, everyone (and everything) can have enough. We are all together on this journey.

      Delete
  11. I've only read two posts on this blog, and I'm already inspired. Thank you!
    I'm going to put you on my following-list on bloglovin now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to NBA. So happy you have found inspiration here, and that you shared that with us.

      Thank you for visiting, and following. Your support is appreciated.

      Delete
  12. One thing people don't need is inherited land. They inherited it; it was not theirs to begin with so they will not miss it if it is returned. Returned to what? You know, returned.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    A species forest is of, by and for all the other naive species. Give it back to them.

    http://wslfconwaymausa.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks so much for linking to my blog from your "body odor" post. I love what you are about and am slowly moving towards total sustainability as well.

    My dream is to someday live an a 1 bedroom house with one spoon, fork and plate, grow my own food and enjoy nature.

    It's so hard to turn people away from what we were taught "success" is...big house, fancy car, a psychiatrist on call.... let's hope there is an "awakening" of such. You are helping to flip the light on....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I linked to your excellent post on cancer and deodorant/anti-perspirant products because it was very thorough, and I thought that NBA readers would enjoy the voice with which you write.

      Your blog, The Savvy Sister, is no-nonsense, and you tell it like it is. I appreciate that, and your humorous outlook on things.

      Your dream sounds like success to me. Thank you for popping in and leaving a comment. Let there be light!

      Delete
  14. I love your site already. Unpretentious, unassuming, and impactful. A wonderful alternative to all the (often hackneyed) big-time minimalist blogs out there (shh, I know some of their writers personally ;)).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sui,

      It is very gratifying to read your kind words.

      Thank you so much for visiting, and leaving a link to your wonderful site.

      Delete
  15. Hi Gregg, love your blog, thank you. I decided to make 2013 my year of not buying anything. Now I'm the proud owner of an orange bag pot scrubber!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All right! That is what we like to hear. With a 'orange bag pot scrubber' state of mind freedom will follow. It is liberating to not be obsessed with buying stuff.

      Congratulations, and do keep us posted as to how it is going throughout the year.

      Delete
  16. Dear Gregg and Linda,

    My name is Nicole. I am a Brazilian writer and translator and I have a blog in Portuguese called Acefalando (www.acefalando.blogspot.com)where I basically curate all kinds of useful links, news and information (human rights, charity, sustainability, education, etc.) and post it all there for a few years now.

    I really like the concept and content of your blog. Could I translate this "about page" into Portuguese, and post it in my blog? I would quote it, name the authors and link to your blog.

    It is such a shame that a country like mine(Brazil), so beautiful and incredibly rich in natural resources, is being completely sucked into the black hole of a culture that only buys. And my god, how much do we buy. Cars, mobile phones, computers, clothes. Always so much more than we need. And a huge part of it is badly used, and easily chucked in the bin.

    I like to think that awareness is a good start, and there is no reason for me to write a post when you blog pretty much says it all. So it is easier to direct people to this page.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Best regards,

    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicole, We have been checking out your awesome blog, and would be honoured to be connected with what you are doing there. You highlight a broad range of very important issues, and I appreciate the many links you provide.

      Canada, like Brazil, is a resource-rich country that is being stripped with little regard for the environment, or those many people that are being left out. There is a lot of work to be done in both countries, and increasingly we are working together as one global family.

      Please do translate our "about page" for your readers, and I will add Acefalando to our blogroll.

      Thank you for contacting us and sharing your wonderful site.

      Gregg and Linda

      Delete
    2. Thank you very much Gregg and Lisa!

      Will do :-)))

      Delete
  17. Dear Gregg, Linda,

    I've always been quite curious towards these simple approaches to life and interested in those people who managed to do so. Step by step, as you write, I'm finding my way. And you should know this blog is a so motivating! So, please, keep on! :)
    All the best,
    Serena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serena, Thank you so much for your supportive comment. We are happy to be of help in your quest, and hope we continue to inspire you toward positive change that you feel good about. It is an honour to be part of your process.

      Please do contact us any time and let us know how things are going, or how we might help you further along the path to a more simple, sustainable life.

      Delete
  18. On your home page you have a portion where you say you could live in a tent. I'm sure you could because I did it for two years before I built my 96 sq ft house on my land in New Mexico. Mind you, I wasn't always on the land during that time and am still not to this day. I gotta leave from time to time to make a little dough and right now I am gone from it to stay with a friend in Santa Fe to do some treatments for Hep C for the next 15 months (got on a program to get it paid for). Can't work at all anymore and could easily do a bankruptcy because of it, but I wouldn't give a bankruptcy lawyer a nickle. I miss my home terribly, but when this is done and if the treatment works, I'll be back home to pick up where I left off.
    I did a comment yesterday here and decided today to delete it. Just wanted to say things a little differently as I may have legally incremented myself with that comment yesterday. I said I walked away from my debt, which I did, however, in my case I had to due to my illness. But I will tell you all, it is very likely I would have done it even without the illness. The free enterprise system of economics is the biggest disease to ever hit the planet. If you feel you are obligated to it, that you need to work hard to pay off your debt, but your debt is so big that it will be years, maybe decades before you'll be able to find a way to live simply. Then my suggestion is to take some time to work yourself into an exit strategy. If that means to declare bankruptcy if you legally can, then do so, it's just not something I'd do these days.
    Whatever the case, there is no need to feel guilty though you will, ignore it, it's just Uncle Sam deep inside you brain. You can't live simply and work 50 freaking hours a week paying off debt, it just don't work that way. Some people are able to get to this way of life debt free, some are not, it's that simple. Don't let debt get in your way. If you'd like counsel on this I'd be happy to do what I can for free. Email me at dannyheim@hotmail.com. This site is wonderful, Gregg. I hope it endures through the hard times coming to us as we face climate change, peak oil, and the ultimate end to the free enterprise system of economics, which will be a storm of the ages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danny, I certainly agree with what you are saying, and can identify with how you are living and the decisions you are making. The debt game is most certainly a way to keep people subservient to the bankers and the system as it currently exists. Not only do the bankers prey on each of us, but they prey on entire countries as well.

      Just look at what has been happening in Greece over the past few years. The horror there continues to grow worse day by day, and it should be seen as a not-too-distant in the future scenario for the rest of the world. They won't be happy until they own everyone, and everything.

      As performance activist Danny Shine (click here) points out, "It is all an illusion, a dream".

      Thanks for joining us and commenting, Danny. We appreciate the participation of our readers, whose comments make this a better, more informative blog for everyone.

      Delete
  19. Allow me to spout off another aspect to all this. The simple way of life is something we could and I could even say "should" do even though most of us having lived the simple life don't need it to be a should because we love it so much. But there is a should to this. Many people come to this way of life and then we never hear from them again. They are having little impact on the earth and they see that is good enough so they say "leave me out of it". Well yes, beyond their own happiness having little impact is what this is about to a great extent. But we live in very dramatic times, the earth and all of its inhabitants are severely threatened, primarily by climate change. What I am saying is you cannot deny what is happening to us here in the 21st century.
    So, don't be a hermit. At least not in the way that you just run to your simple life corner and say "screw you" to the remaining population. I did this very thing, I left the environmental movement of which I was very active and was the AD of a prominent environmental group in Missouri, then went to my land and attempted to be a non-participant in the insanity of the times. How noble, right? Well, eventually I saw that I couldn't hide from it all, I was a part of this world and as responsible to the effort to save it as anyone. The guilt got to me and now I am once again heavily involve in activism, not making any money at it like before, but that's not what it's about, is it? So anyway, have fun in the life you lead, but remember your effort to promote the welfare of the earth is as important as anyone's, don't leave us without your input.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danny, Your comment reminds me of the Zen saying, "Don't be bound by every day life, but don't withdraw yourself from it either.

      You are so right - we are in a serious state of affairs and it will take the best of what each of us has to offer to make the changes that need to be made.

      Having said that, I don't think that living simply in a sea of excess ever goes unnoticed. Even without evangelizing, people who live simply ARE noticed by those around them because they are living differently than most others. Their whole lifestyle is their message, and others will learn through observation, and may even be prompted to ask questions.

      "Why do you live simply?" can lead to vital teachable moments.

      I agree, though, that we all have a responsibility to "promote the welfare of the earth." Thanks again for your input, Danny.

      What do you think, readers? As Danny says, "Don't leave us without your input."

      Delete
  20. I really like your blog - was ranting about planned obsolescence on Facebook tonite- and was inspired to see what is out there about it. My brief visit gives me a feeling of coherence and integrity. Nice work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon, Thanks for reading, and for ranting - planned obsolescence is a crime against nature. Constant upgrades are another way to make waste profitable for manufacturers.

      Please do return for a more leisurely visit.

      Delete
  21. Your sites emails are the only ones that I truly look forward to receiving. Please keep the words of wisdom coming. Your thoughts are inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, We are so happy that the email notification of our posts brightens your day! Your feedback is motivation for us to to KEEP you happy by continually improving our blog.

      Delete
  22. I'm sitting here far, far away in Stockholm, Sweden and read many of your blog posts. So inspiring! And the most obvious thing is the WARMTH you are showing people who write comments on your blog. /Eva

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eva, Thank you for commenting here. I am very pleased that it is warmth that you sense all the way over there in Stockholm, Sweden. Wow!

      It is very satisfying to hear from our readers, and to come together as a simple living community that can provide an alternative model - a more gentle way of living based on caring for each other and the environment.

      So nice to hear from you.

      Delete
  23. I've been reading your blog for some time now and just wanted to let you know how very inspirational I find your posts. I'm always happy to see one in my inbox as I travel along my own journey to a simple life. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kendra,

      To write. To inspire. To change the world in some small way for the betterment of all. These have been life long goals for me.

      Comments like yours provide valuable feedback that lets me know that I am on my way toward fulfilling my destiny. There is work to be done, and along with other simple living folks such as your self, I am happy to be a part of this crucial effort.

      Thanks for participating on our blog and adding to our growing community.

      Delete
  24. Hi Gregg, I was just checking out your blog and had a quick question. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance. Thanks! - Cam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cameron,

      I am sorry, but I am unsure of how to email you. You could try emailing me at gkoepper@yahoo.com. Ask quick questions, slow questions, any questions. Please do get in touch.

      Delete
  25. I just found your blog, and I'll be following you for inspiration. I can't say I live a "small footprint" life, as you do, but I'm a big believer in reduce, reuse and recycle. Years ago, I read a book called "Living More With Less", and it made quite an impression on me; I'm hoping your blog will re-energize me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb,

      It has taken us 27 years to get to where we are today. Twenty seven years of down-sizing, right-sizing, and quitting the system. It has been a gradual process, and we still do not consider ourselves to be done.

      Believing that you can make meaningful changes for yourself and the planet is the first step, and it sounds like you are already there.

      I aim to keep you, and other NBA readers, inspired to "live more with less". It IS the way. Thank you for dropping us a line, and for following our blog. Hope to hear more from you as we move forward.

      Delete
  26. Hello, just wanted to forward this to you... it is a classic example of why your website exists and is popular. http://www.wthr.com/story/26170291/2014/08/01/carmel-pushes-campaign-to-keep-work-zone-businesses-afloat

    Please note the line from the mayor... "It's important to support local, employees, pay tax, participate in community events in the city," said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard.

    He is a fool of course and that city is one of the most indebted cities in the USA. They have tried to create a city based on spending and it is worse than you can imagine when you go there.

    Thanks for posting this article so others can see the true message to the sheeple!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,

      More evidence that the status quo is not working. More and more people are waking up to this fact, but it may not be occurring fast enough to save us. Strong, resilient and cooperative communities will provide the solutions.

      Thank you for sharing the interesting link.

      Delete
  27. I just discovered your blog today and I love it. Thank you.. I am always looking for more ways to live a simple life and am happy to know there are a lot of people out there who want to as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. A little late to the table - I just discovered your blog as I googled ' not buying anything'. Looking forward to a good old browse. Hello from Scotland!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Just found your website as I searched for allies to spread the word for BUY NOTHING DAY - Dec 21st, 2016.
    Spreading this "day of action" as a way of Standing with Standing Rock.
    Hoping that it will jiggle some brain-cells to get the human family to start thinking about how they vote the only vote that REALLY counts... their $$$$

    ReplyDelete

Discussion and debate is welcome on NBA. I believe that this can be done via courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the post, whether or not they agree with the views expressed.

Comments containing profanity, abusive language, or baiting will be deleted.

Comments with a user name attached above, or in a sign off in the text, are appreciated. It lets us meet on common ground, and get to know each other better.

Click the "notify me" box to be updated on the thread by email.

Note: Comments are moderated to eliminate links to commercial interests. We are proudly a no selling, no buying website.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...