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what does simple living mean?

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    Most of us are trying to live as simply as we can, believing a simple lifestyle is the best way for ourselves and the environment. But what does “living simply” mean to you?

    I don’t believe that simple living is easy, in fact you end up working harder because you stop buying many things that are pre-made, and make from scratch much of what you eat and use. To me the term “simple” in this context is the opposite of complex, it is unsophisticated, uncomplicated, natural and not artifical, not “simple” meaning “easy”.

    To me, the key to simple living is to slow down, live deliberatly – think about why you do certain things and modify your behaviour, develop sustainable values and live by them, stop spending, pay off debt as as you can, reuse and recycle, share your knowledge and enjoy the life you build.

    What does simple living mean to you?


    I’m with you Rhonda, simple isn’t about ‘easy’ it’s more about conscious living. Doing things because it benefits not just me or my family but the wider community and the whole planet. Not just consuming because I have an appearance that i need to maintain.

    My simple lifestyle grew from a need to reduce stress in my life, I don’t cope with pressure and found that I was putting loads of pressure on myself to live a life that didn’t really suit me anyway. Once I started to follow my heart my environmental conscience also came out and it all just grew from there. It isn’t easier but it’s way more rewarding, healthy, cheaper and real living for me.


    Any decision that takes one outside the mainstream will never be easy.

    In its most basic principle it is about living sustainably. To me living simply is about making choices that benefit the planet and my little part of it, but without adopting extremes. Gardening with organic and permaculture principles instead of chemical ones, growing my own healthy, (without all those chemical additives) food.

    Treading lightly and living with the understanding we are stewards of this planet, we do not inherit from our parents, we borrow from our children’s future. Most importantly I try to live with this world rather than live on this world. Most importantly it is about trying to demonstrate by example what these beliefs are rather than merely giving lip service to them.

    Would I like to do more – of course. Knowing we could generate power from clean green sources, making better choices about water management, recognising there are alternatives to fossil fuels, and knowing as much as I desire to impliment these things i simply cannot afford to, all frustrate me enormously. Knowing those in power that could make changes yet won’t angers me.

    I do the best i can with the limited resources i have.

    John and Zoe


    I couldn’t have put it more eloquently than you have.




    You are right Rhonda, it is hard work living simply and I would rather live like this than working 40 plus hours a week. Lenny, like you I do not cope well with pressure and a few years ago I ended up having a meltdown and put on anti depressants. (Not a good idea) This happened because my ex husband put the pressure on me to apply for a job that carried responability and a higher rate of pay. I got the job but after six weeks I could not cope with the long hours three school age children and a husband that then decided to get a second job. We had no extra money to show for all the hard work as I was always at the supermarket to pick up what we were having for tea that night. I was frustrated because I knew there was a better way but did not have the time to put it into practice. Now there is no looking back.

    I guess that living simply for me is not giving into the consumer hype and not trying to keep up with the “Joneses”. They’re all at work anyway to pay for the flash house, designer clothes, and overseas trips twice a year. Lol


    To me it’s about deliberately slowing down (like Forest said). It’s about chosing to stay more true to my my core being. About knowing what I put into my body. About chosing lifestyle over career. About rejecting consumerism.

    But more importantly it’s about being accountable to myself, my family and my environment through living in harmony with those things and through trying to go with the flow.

    Like you Suzy, I had some major life-changing experiences that forced me to question everything. I went towards consumerism and conformity and it caused me so much pain. Now every day that I move towards sustainability and “going with the flow” I feel myself become more free and less like I’m about to have the heart-attack I always worried about having.

    I think perhaps I’ve mentioned it before – but simple living for me is about integrity, discipline, purpose and through those things – fun and relaxation.

    Let the world stress about that which is not important!


    I’ve just given up working full time 40hr+, when my sister was daigonose with cancer I had to beg to have a week off to go and see her and I thought enough was enough plus my health was going down and I found I got sick more often. Now I only work Sat. and Sun morn for 3 hours each when I leave work I switch my phone off till the weekend next.When she died I rang up and said I’m going and if they didn’t like it find someone else no argument.

    We have always live simply because of food allergies my eldest son suffers from so we had to either grow it or buy organic now his youngest daughter has the same problems. Life is too short to not try and live healthily


    I like a quote I came across recently from Sir Jonathon Porritt, the British environmentalist and author of the book Liberty and Sustainability: Where One Person’s Freedom is Another’s Nuisance. I think it sums up the essence of simple living whatever our circumstances.

    The future will be green, or not at all. This truth lies at the heart of humankind’s most pressing challenge: to learn to live in harmony with the Earth on a genuinely sustainable basis.


    I like that quote too, Warwick. I sometimes wonder how they will name our age in the future. Like ice age or bronze age, what we will be known as? The mind boggles. :confused:


    Malcom Turnbull said on TV last night about SA not being happy with the $10 billion Murray/Darling resue package:

    Its like a drowning man refusing a lifejacket because it doesn’t go with the colour of his tie.

    That could apply to a lot of other current issues as well, I feel.

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