I am currently re-reading the book Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints On A Finite Earth by Jim Merkel, and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone looking to radically simplify and slow down their lives. I have read a lot of simple living books, all of which discuss different aspects of living a simpler life – from money to gardening to home building to cleaning out clutter – but this book takes all these things and combines them into one place encompassing all things “simple”. With chapter titles such as “We Have No Other Choice”, “How Big Is My Footprint”, “Four Qualities & Six Realities of ‘Enoughness'”, and “Three Questions That Will Transform Your Life”, the book gives detailed examples and how-to’s on living a simpler life and reducing your impact on our planet.
Oftentimes I think I am living a pretty simple life, and then I read a book like this that opens my eyes to what else I could be doing. I am not willing to live in a hut and kill my own food, and this book doesn’t ask you to do that. It just gives you the tools to take a look at your own life and make the changes necessary. It will help you to learn about your relationship with your “stuff” and why we tend to try to live like everyone else even when we know we shouldn’t. Merkel asks a very important, all-encompassing question of the reader – “How Much Is Enough?“. You will be surprised at how much people take relative to others on this planet who have nothing, and it’s way more than is needed to survive. If you have read other simple living books but found them lacking in different areas, check this one out. I highly recommend it.