Living on Less

For those who have a notion to try living on less, we're recommending a book of essays that will help you scale down and enjoy simpler pleasures.

living on less - Less is More Cover

“Less Is More” is an inspiring collection of essays about living on less and simplify your life.

PHOTO: NEW SOCIETY PUBLISHERS

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Less is More is a compilation of essays from some of the most respected voices to grace the simple living movement over the past few decades. These single-serving-size essays validate today’s work in your garden while fueling tomorrow’s dreams for sustainably living on less. Editors Cecile Andrews and Wanda Urbanska have assembled a collection of works that will both educate and inspire you.

So many books on this topic use scare tactics to justify scaling down — the threats to our planet, the emptiness of our consumerism, or our complete vulnerability without a solar power grid and a football-field-size garden of vegetables. But Less is More educates using sound logic and wisdom, encouraging voluntary simplicity rather than preaching against wanton materialism.

The book conveys a more benign sense of self. It isn’t an angry collection of manifestos, nor is it a lazy, farm-centric bed-and-breakfast drop-in read. Depending on your preferences, you could read about the ethical goings-on at a small Kansas farm, or sit down with eco-activist Bill McKibben for a serious discussion on local economies. The pace throughout is balanced, occasionally funny, and constantly insightful into the hearts and minds of folks with dirt under their fingernails or chickens in the backyard.

Books like this are reminders and teachers, meant to always be within arm’s length of your favorite place to relax. After a long day on my small farm, a little therapeutic encouragement is welcome. Very welcome indeed.

Order “Less is More.”
dave browne_1
3/30/2010 9:39:43 AM

My wife and 5 kids live completely off the grid. It takes about an hour to reach an electric line. We have carved out our homestead in complete wilderness. Six bedroom home, solar/wind and a spring for water. It is not easy but LESS IS BETTER. We have learned more about what not to do than what to do. I spent about 200 to 500 a month to build this all and a lot of work. We are completely out of debt and live free on the mountain. We are able to use our art and crafts to make money to continue building. The hardest decision was to get up and do it. After we decided to move ahead, it was just keep working at it. Living two lives did not work. We had to leave the city for good. Take it on the chin and get up and keep moving forward. We live free... It is a great feeling to be able to live without the city, electric lines, water etc.