I received my copy of  ‘Walden and other Writings’ the other day and a have just finished the introductory bit about Thoreau. One inspiring section talks about the common feeling that the more we have, the better the quality of our lives. Thoreau set out by living in his cabin, to find out how little one needs to live a satisfactory life – a very rough paraphrase.
I gain hope from the fate of Concorde (the aircraft). If we want to travel, we need a certain velocity. So the concensus is the faster the better. but one gets to a point (in this case, the speed of sound) and it becomes unproductive to go any faster. So despite mastering all the technology to achieve supersonic commercial air travel, it ain’t viable.
This can be applied to the home. Washing machines are great – especially in a family household – but that doesn’t mean that tumble dryers and dishwashers add to the quality of life.
We should all be encouraged to see where we draw our lines of what really adds to our lives and what just clutters it up and makes us have to work frantically to pay for it, using up lots of the Earth’s limited energy at the same time.


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