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The Simpler Way: A Practical Action Plan for Living More on Less

I’m pleased and excited to announce the launch of the latest initiative of the Simplicity Institute – The Simpler Way: A Practical Action Plan for Living More on Less. ____ The Simpler Way, created in collaboration with Ted Trainer, consists of a website and booklet which provide detailed practical advice on how to live a ‘simpler life’ of reduced and restrained consumption. More... read more

David Holmgren: Retrofitting the Suburbs for Sustainability

Exciting news for all Melbournians: David Holmgren, co-originator of the ‘permaculture’ concept, is giving a free lunchtime talk at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre on 16 February 2012. His subject is ‘Retrofitting the Suburbs for Sustainability,” and it isn’t to be missed. David’s insight into the various social and ecological challenges of our times is unrivalled, and... read more

Self-Cultivation and the Art of Voluntary Simplicity

Consumption is a proper subject of ethical concern primarily for the following three reasons: (1) the planet’s resources are being consumed at an unsustainable rate, and this is placing in jeopardy the future of life as we know it, with potentially catastrophic consequences; (2) a small percentage of the world’s population live in relative comfort and luxury while great multitudes live in material... read more

Unleashing Transition Coburg: From Oil Dependence to Local Resilience

Greetings all – especially those of you who might live in Coburg (Melbourne), or thereabouts. I’m guessing many of you have heard of Transition Initiatives, but for those who haven’t, the basic idea is this: it doesn’t look as if our governments are going to do anything significant with respect to peak oil or climate change, or the other problems we are facing, so we are... read more

The Best Books I’ve Read This Year: Need Ideas for an Oppositional Xmas?

At a time when the world’s most respected scientists affirm that ordinary Western-style consumption habits are indeed destroying the planet, what attitudes should we have toward the corporate event known as Christmas? Should we still be seeking salvation through over-consumption? Or is it high time to embrace some form of enlightened material restraint? The materialistic orgy that is Christmas, of... read more

Solar Hot Water: The Simpler Way

To those of you in the Northern hemisphere, who are heading into the depths of winter, this post may be a bit offensive. My apologies in advance. The temperature today in Melbourne, Australia, reached a toasty 29 degrees (celsius) and that signifies the beginning of the season of solar hot water – but solar hot water the simpler way. Yes, ’tis the season for the outside shower! In these... read more

Voluntary Simplicity: The Poetic Alternative to Consumer Culture

 In 2009 I published (on a not-for-profit basis) an anthology of articles on simple living, entitled Voluntary Simplicity: The Poetic  Alternative to Consumer Culture. It includes 20 chapters from leading advocates of simple living, including Clive Hamilton, Juliet Schor,  and Henry Thoreau, among many others. I’ve just noticed that Fishpond is having a sale and currently my text is only $16... read more

The Battle of City Square: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

I got a call this morning around 7.30am informing me that the police were planning to evict people from City Square at 9am. So I jumped on my bike and did what my conscience demanded of me. What else is one to do? It is 7.15pm as I write these words, and I now have a badly sprained neck, having been forcibly removed from our peaceful protest in City Square by the riot police some time after midday. I’ll... read more

Ignite: An Unspoken Address to the Occupiers (Occupy Melbourne)

A PDF of my 4,000 word statement can be downloaded here: Ignite. I woke up in City Square again this Thursday morning. The sun was rising, the vibe was characteristically joyful and positive, and the conversation was critical and engaged. Not only that, seeing the City Square full with tents was an inspiring spectacle, one that never gets old, and it must surely be prompting some reflection among those... read more

Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Melbourne: Are We the People We Have Been Waiting For?

(A PDF of my 4,000 word defence of Occupy Melbourne can be downloaded here: Ignite.) I presume you have all heard about the occupation of Wall Street that began a few weeks ago in New York? Thousands of people have been staging an extended protest – an occupation – of Wall Street, voicing their diverse objections to a global financial system that has gone amuck. It may well be, however, that some of... read more
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