Down to Earth

One of the most compelling lifestyle ideas of the past two decades is that of ‘simple living’ which I have written about in a previous post https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/peregrineblue.com/452. A book that sparked my interest and has been a huge inspiration to me is this gem: Down to Earth: a guide to simple living by Rhonda Hetzel. Based on the Sunshine Coast, Rhonda practices her dream of simple living and offers practical ideas in her easy to read book.

I love her opening quote: ‘I was pulled into simple living before I knew what it was. It crept up on me using the smallest of steps and didn’t reveal its true beauty and power until I was totally hooked. I was searching for a way to live well while spending very little money. What I found was a way of life that also gave me independence, opportunity and freedom.’

Down to Earth provides excellent advice across a range of topics that include: managing finances, simplifying routines, decluttering, sustainable gardening, preserving and fermenting food, recycling, reducing waste and keeping chickens. At the back of the book is an extensive list of online resources for simple living.

Down to Earth is a book that I dip back into regularly to draw inspiration and to figure out how to try something new. I remember I wasn’t all that brave about getting chickens but when I read Rhonda’s section on ‘Keeping Chickens’ it encouraged me to take the plunge!

Down to Earth was published by Penguin Group (Australia) in 2012. Rhonda Hetzel has also written: The Simple Life and The Simple Home. You can find out more on her blog: https://down—to—earth.blogspot.com/ on her instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rhondahetzel/ or by tracking down her books in one of our local bookshops:

Simple Living

Live simply so that others can simply live.

The origin of this quote is unconfirmed but it is often attributed it to Mahatma Gandhi. Nevertheless, the phrase is profound and it helps to unpack what ‘simple living’ is all about.

For me simple living is a lifestyle that considers not only my own well-being but the well-being of others. ‘Others’ includes present and future humans, plants, animals and the planet we share.

Several books have influenced my commitment to simple living but the first one to get right under my skin was Affluenza by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss published in 2005 by Allen and Unwin. It doesn’t hold back in describing the ugly reality of a world obsessed with consumerism.

It compelled me to think more carefully about what I actually need and how I can be a more responsible consumer. It launched me into developing habits around living sustainably, living with less and when buying, choosing fairtrade, ethical and environmentally friendly products.

Simple living can seem daunting at times. We are often time poor and new habits can be hard to form when we are swimming against the tide. But the reward in living simply is deep and lasting. Its foundation is kindness and thankfulness and these two virtues go far to improve our relationships, enhance our health and bring us peace of mind.

Simple living is a ongoing journey and it has taken me on a few steep learning curves. In no way do I claim to be an expert or a success. All I hope to do is work on my own simple living each day and inspire others to do the same. Together we can make a difference.