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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

Mindfulness: The Doorway to Simple Living

Mark A. Burch has just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, called ‘Mindfulness: The Doorway to Simple Living.’ I’ve posted a short section below and the full essay is available here.  Also, before I leave you with Mark’s fine essay, I’ve been contacted by two different writers seeking interviewees for their own work on simple living. First, Rebecca Butterworth is... read more

‘Education’ under Consumer-Capitalism, and The Simpler Way Alternative

Ted Trainer has just published a new Simplicity Institute Report, addressing the question, “What is Education?” He’s provided a short summary below and the full essay is available here. Education under Consumer-Capitalism, and The Simpler Way Alternative Ted Trainer In consumer society “education” is essentially about reproducing consumer society – providing workers who are... read more

Ted Trainer’s Review of “Reinventing Fire”

Below is Ted Trainer’s review of Amory Lovins’ book, Reinventing Fire (2011). Reinventing Fire continues the presentation of the Lovins perspective, essentially the claim that there is great scope for conservation measures and alternative technologies to solve our problems and enable maintenance of rich world economies and lifestyles.  He says at least 80% of US power, and possibly all of it... read more

The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators

On this first day of spring, which symbolises new life, it brings me great pleasure to announce the publication of Mark Burch’s The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators. This special issue from the Simplicity Institute takes us in a new direction, moving beyond the analytical stage of defending simplicity and criticising growth-based, consumer-orientated economies, toward the... read more

Educating for Simple Living

Mark Burch has just written an important and timely essay on “Educating for Simple Living” which will be published through the Simplicity Institute in a few days. The full essay is available in advance here, and I’ve posted the introduction below. Educating for Simple Living by Mark Burch In the following pages I aim to explore education within a culture of simple living and some methods... read more

Degrowth, Expensive Oil, and the New Economics of Energy

The PDF is available here:  “Degrowth, Expensive Oil, and the New Economics of Energy“ Our understandings and expectations of the world have been shaped by our experience of economic growth. The dynamic stability of that growth has habituated us to what is ‘normal.’ That normal must soon shatter. – David Korowicz  Samuel Alexander[1] 1. Preparing for Life after Growth In this post I... read more

Che Guava Strikes Again: Guerilla Gardening on Nature Strip

Someone’s been guerilla gardening on my nature strip again. I think it was Che Guava, but can’t be sure. You will see from the picture that a wonderful no-dig garden bed is now beautifying the nature strip outside my place. A no-dig bed means exactly that – no digging – which means you don’t have to worry about pipes beneath the earth. And now there is more space for local... read more

David Holmgren Publishes Simplicity Institute Report: Retrofitting the Suburbs

I’m pleased to announce that David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, has just published a Simplicity Institute Report, entitled “Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future.” I’ve provided a short overview of Holmgren’s essay below, and the full report is available at the Simplicity Institute here.  Sometimes well-meaning ‘green’... read more
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