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Podcast: Stepping Lightly, with Mark A. Burch

Two short notes today: Mark A. Burch, from the Simplicity Institute, has just been interviewed by Dr Randell Hardy about voluntary simplicity and mindfulness. The interview (38 mins long) is freely available online here. As always, Mark stands out as being an extremely eloquent and insightful advocate of simpler, more mindful living. It’s well worth a listen. (If you enjoy this interview, you might... read more

Bursting the Carbon Bubble

The following article was written by Michael Green and appeared in The Age a couple of days ago. Thanks to Michael for raising this important and fascinating issue concerning the ‘carbon bubble’ and for permission to repost the article. There are many links in the article for those who wish to explore this issue further.     BURSTING THE CARBON BUBBLE Energy analysts and activists are... read more

The Benefits of Life in The Simpler Way

After the last two posts being rather gloomy, I am happy today to bring your attention to Ted Trainer’s new Simplicity Institute Report, called ‘Your Delightful Day: The Benefits of Life in the The Simpler Way.’ In this report Trainer highlights the many benefits that would come – individually, socially, environmentally – if communities embraced a culture of simple living and... read more

Ted Trainer’s new article on ‘The Conversation’

A couple of days ago Ted Trainer published an article on ‘The Conversation,’ which I’ve republished below. It’s called ‘Living off-the-grid is possible, but it’s not enough to fix climate change’ and it’s one hell of a read, despite being very short. LIVING OFF-THE-GRID IS POSSIBLE, BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO FIX CLIMATE CHANGE by Ted Trainer, Visiting... read more

Has Civilization a Future? Simplicity Institute Report by Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich

Can a collapse of civilization be avoided? This is the bold question Paul and Anne Ehrlich, from Stanford University, confront in their challenging new essay, published today by the Simplicity Institute. Paul Ehrlich has been amongst the most prominent figures in the Environmental Movement ever since his 1968 publication of The Population Bomb.  I’ve posted the introduction below and the full... read more

Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms on Straw

I’ve been experimenting recently with growing my own oyster mushrooms, and as you can see from the photos, I’ve met with some success. I was motivated to explore mushroom cultivation partly because I’m a vegetarian and want to produce my own high-protein alternatives to meat; but I was also interested in using so-called ‘dead space’ to grow food (either inside or down the shady side of the... read more

Psychedelic Garden Love

A huge ‘dome of heat’ over Australia has broken temperature records, and this heat has been so intense that the Bureau of Meteorology has been required to create new colours for their charts, which had previously been capped at 50 degrees. Deep red has now been superseded by deep purple. Bush fires have been raging across the country – a sign of a warming world, the impacts of which are destined only... read more

My Post-Electric Washing Machine: The Deindustrial 2020

Introducing my post-electric washing machine, which I call the Deindustrial 2020. It’s of the future, not the past – although it does look rather like the old-style, Medieval 1450. It was made for only $2. As you should be able to see from the picture, the Deindustrial 2020 is made up of two hi-tech elements, a black plastic tub (which I salvaged from the side of the road), and an old crutch (which I... read more

Enough, For Everyone, Forever

  Below is the introduction to Mark A. Burch’s final Simplicity Institute Report for the year, ending what has been a wonderfully prolific few months. The essay is called “Sufficiency: Enough, For Everyone, Forever,” and it is freely available in full here. I’d like to extend my gratitude to Mark for all his hard work, over many years, advancing the cause of mindful simplicity... read more

The Sufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down

Below I’ve posted the introduction to my new essay, “The Sufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down.” This essay, which I feel is the clearest expression of my views, summarises the critique of growth economics and then describes in some detail what I consider to be the most promising alternative model – ‘a sufficiency economy.’ The full essay can be read... read more

Simplicity, Sustainability, and Human Rights

Mark A. Burch has just published another fine Simplicity Institute Report, this time addressing the themes, “Simplicity, Sustainability, and Human Rights.” I’ve posted the introduction below and the full report is available here.  I don’t claim any professional credentials or special expertise with respect to human rights. My perspective is that of a layperson, not a jurist or human... read more

My Solar Oven: Renewable Energy the Simpler Way

I was at the salvage yard the other day and saw some cheap mirrors, so I bought them. Not so that I could look at myself. From my typical appearance it is clear that I do not do that nearly as often as I should. Rather, I thought I could use them to make a good solar oven, and it turned out I could. As you will see from the pictures, a solar oven works by concentrating the sun’s rays toward a... read more

Simplicity and Economy

Continuing his prolific few months of writing (with several more essays still to come!), Mark A. Burch has published a new Simplicity Institute Report, this one entitled ‘Simplicity and Economy.’ As always, Mark presents an insightful and inspiring analysis, deserving of serious attention. I’ve posted a short section below and the full essay is available here. Since the humbler meaning of... read more

How to Live Simply: The De-Junking Guide

A few years ago Mark A. Burch wrote a helpful ‘de-junking guide’ which he has kindly given me permission to post online. I’ve posted a couple of pages from an introductory section below and the full text (full of practical advice) is freely available here. This text supports the practical advice the Simplicity Institute offers at The Simpler Way Project.  To start, we need to appreciate... read more

Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class: Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption’

Below I have posted my new Simplicity Institute Report, “Radical Simplicity and the Middle-Class: Exploring the Lifestyle Implications of a ‘Great Disruption.’” The report has also been published with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia and the PDF is available here. 1. Introduction How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen –... read more
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