The Trend to a Simpler Life

April 10, 1996

By Michael Jessen

Duane Elgin authored the book Voluntary Simplicity in 1981; he was ahead of his time. The 1980's was a decade dedicated to buy and spend.

Today, Elgin is the director of Choosing Our Future, a non-profit organization working to inform people about the environmental impact of overconsumption and he is not alone.

Seattle's New Road Map Foundation has published a directory of organizations and leaders involved in the movement to reduce overconsumption.

It has over 150 listings. The co-founder of the foundation is Vicki Robin, author with Joe Dominguez of "Your Money or Your Life", THE book for people wanting to downshift their life.

The April issue of E magazine (available locally at Oliver's Books and the Kootenay Co-op) has a lead article entitled "How Much Stuff Is Enough?"

As the article details, a Merck Family Fund poll conducted last summer found that 82 percent of Americans agree that "most of us buy and consume far more than we need; its wasteful."

If you want to investigate how to simplify your life, the following organizations can help:

The New Road Map Foundation, PO Box 15981, Seattle, WA 98115;

The Northwest Earth Institute, Suite 532, 921 SW Morrison, Portland, OR 97205;

Choosing Our Future, 107A Holcomb Ave., Larkspur, CA 94939;

Center for the Study of Commercialism, 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009-5728.

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