There is one question that can truly make a difference in our lives and communities: How much do I really, truly need? To be happy, to be safe, to be comfortable?
As many people are finding, it’s much less than you may think. There’s a rapidly-growing movement toward some form of voluntary simplicity. People are turning away from the “McMansions” of recent years and toward more sustainable options: smaller detached homes; garden suites or laneway houses; shared space in the form of cooperative housing or other alternatives to single (or single family) occupancy; micro homes on wheels; container houses, and many more. The key to making these options work is good design and an attitude of openness to new possibilities. With efficient layouts and storage, there’s a place for everything – that is, everything that truly matters.
Are you concerned about climate change and resource depletion? Are you tired of feeling powerless to make a significant move toward a more sustainable existence? You are not alone. But there is something you can do to reduce your footprint: use less, starting with where you live. This means exercising care in the use of space and evaluating what is really important in your life. It takes some honest self-inquiry to decide what that means.
The key to shrinking your footprint is simple, but there’s no magic solution. We need to use less. Less land, less space, less stuff, less energy. In return, we get more free time, more quality, more freedom, more nature, more community, more presence.
If you’re willing to step back from the model of material consumption that’s been imposed upon us all by decades of clever marketing, you’ll find freedom and fulfillment in other areas of life. And you’ll discover that a more sustainable lifestyle isn’t a life of scarcity, but of true abundance.