What have been some of your inspirational experiences for following a simpler path?

Or, what has caused you to care deeply for “environmental issues”?



  1. 0 Votes

    Someone once said to me months ago “How strange it is that we can recognize the sound of someone’s cell phone, but we can’t identify the calls of most birds.” This statement has profound meaning for me, and has definitely helped me on the path to a simpler life. Realizing that going outside and walking around in the woods is ultimately more entertaining than sitting in front of a TV or video game has also helped me. Meeting my friend Zaac, who forages most of his own diet, was also an experience that taught me that a simpler life is indeed possible.

  2. 0 Votes

    I was aware of things like recycling from cartoons but I didn’t give it too much thought back then. Around 10 years ago when global warming first appeared to be true I felt that if we don’t change the way we live we might end up with a place that’s uninhabitable. Only a couple of years ago did I really start pro-actively helping the environment, with as much as an individual person can do, use only what I need, participate in eco events, talk about environment issues and so on. Seeing all the research and development done today is great but we should’ve started 10 years ago. 

  3. 0 Votes

    Excellent question. I would say that my experiences in the recent financial crisis have had a large impact on how I see environmental issues and living more simply and sustainably. My previous career was closely connected with the financial services industry. The bursting of the “dot-com bubble” in 2000-01 demonstrated, at least to me, how fragile our economic system is and how prone it is to flights of fancy (come on, did anyone really think Kozmo.com could work?). That the process repeated itself in 2008-09, to a much greater degree and involving the basic pillars of the US economy such as insurance and the stock market, made me think about how we could better maximize the resources of our society. I lost my job in 2009 and decided to switch to another career, and in the course of thinking through those issues I began to realize that all of us who live in advanced industrialized countries can and should do something to live more simply and to make less of an impact in the world. Stock prices rise and fall, money comes and goes, but the sun still rises and sets, birds still chirp and the surf still crashes up on the shore day in and day out, oblivious to all those human things that we think are so important. The Earth will be here long after we’re gone, and in that sense it’s more real than anything else in our lives.

  4. 0 Votes

    You should read the Tao Teh Ching.  I find it extremely inspiring.  Its entire message is to live simply, but it puts it in such a beautifully simple way that it really must be read to fully appreciate.  It is very relevant to today’s world and has a universal message.

  5. 0 Votes

    Seeing positive change all around, it makes me feel like efforts go to good use and are not in vain.  To see more and more stores adopting reusable bags, and governments mandating carbon emission regulations and companies vying for sustainable practice and products…. i feel like all of these things were fought for in recent decades, and while they’re still being fought for and there’s room for progress, to have such a wave of acceptance is totally inspiring and encourages more awareness, more though and more action.

  6. 0 Votes

    I would say joining an environmental organization at the university that I go to. It has provided me a group of friends that share the same feelings about the environment. All of us together have painfully begin living much simpler lives, less use of gas, energy, etc. However, it is still hard and only will continue to get harder. Good luck 🙂

  7. 0 Votes

    Reading Thoreau and Emerson in my high school English class.  I was going through a really rough time (parents getting divorced), and these authors really helped me feel connected to something larger than the day to day worries that we all get consumed by.  The class taught me to slow down and observe the beauty and wonder of the world around me.  This really inspired me to learn more about the environment and the ways I can help to protect it.  I would recommend reading Walden by Thoreau and Emerson’s essays on Self-Reliance and Nature. 

  8. 0 Votes

    I was very lucky and had a Biology teacher for a Dad, so the world fascinated me at an early age.  I was the 4 year old who would gather acorns and put them at the base of trees to make it easier on squirrels.  I picked up the spiders and snaked when every one else was trying to kill them and ran them into the woods.  I would have to say that the awe inspiring moment for me came when I was 12 years old.  My Dad took me on a road trip across the country, literally.  He made sure we went every scenic route and saw a beautiful sunset at the Grand Canyon and sunrises over the Rocky Mountains.  I played in tide pools in California and saw the rolling hills of the Great Plains.  I truly realized then how much beauty there was in this world and that is was worth every effort I had to leave a positive footprint on the environment.

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