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Happiness is Simple



The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living

We've been reading "The Art of Happiness" again, it's just nice to remind ourselves of what the Dalai Lama has to say & this has led us to sign up to "The No Impact Experiment", which starts on Sunday January 2nd.

No Impact Project » The No Impact Experiment

We already live by most of these principles, but it's good to continue challenging ourselves to live with less & think about ways of improving how we do things. This is what makes us happy! We got very excited before Christmas when we received a letter from Ecotricity (our electricity provider), saying that our usage has halved over the last year, so our monthly direct debits are being reduced & we got a refund for an overpayment! We've also cut our heating oil consumption too & have all got used to wearing extra layers when it's been really cold.

Yesterday, was our local rubbish & recycling collection day & it never ceases to amaze us just how much "stuff" our neighbours put out... Just wished we'd had the camera! Houses with just 1 or 2 people put out between 6 & 8 bags of rubbish - that's just in a week!!! We recycle as much as possible & put out 1 bin liner of rubbish, which is never full. Next week, we aim to just recycle & have no rubbish at all!

Sal & Ryan, our eldest & her boyfriend, made all their Christmas presents this year & they were fantastic; Hand painted treasure chests containing delicious chocolate truffles, jars of cookies, jams, chutneys & face cream - really inspiring. Next year, we will definitely find the time to make more...  We also wish to make more effort to bottle & freeze foods, eat according to the seasons, stop buying canned foods (baked beans & tomatoes) & get back into making our own beer (which we haven't done for months)!

These are the books we're going to buy for inspiration:


Green Seasons Cookbook: Seasonally Inspired Recipes from Demuths Restaurant
No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the ProcessThe Dalai Lama's Little Book of WisdomEnough: Breaking Free from the World of MoreThe Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic LivingTwelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American DreamThe Self Sufficient-ish Bible: An Eco-living Guide for the 21st CenturyThe Everything Guide to Living Off the Grid: A back-to-basics manual for independent living (Everything Series)

Our only guilty pleasure is owning a car & using it more than we should... Though after this next road trip, maybe we'll rethink our future holidays. We quite fancy walking more of the Cornish coast or doing a long distance footpath, so perhaps that will be the next trip, but we haven't flown since 2000 & we're very proud of that!

We're really looking forward to 2011 & know that there will be lots of exciting times ahead - yipee!!!

Happy New Year!

Kay & Simon xx

Comments

Martha Z said…
Oh, you are ambitious, you put me to shame. We try to be conscientious, minimize our local travel (but continue to take road trips), think about whether we really need an item before purchase. I do the easy things, I buy sustainably raised meat from a local farmer but am not a vegetarian. I use the local farmer’s market but if it is out of season, well, if I want it I will buy it at the supermarket. Our solar panels provide most of the electricity we use but I just don’t seem able to bring our usage down to parity.
You encourage me to try harder.
Karin said…
Thanks for dropping by earlier. It's good to know someone else is trying this week long experiment. Like you, I do a certain amount already and I'm not sure it will be easy, or even practical to do the other things, but it's worth a try and always good to be encouraged to consider doing things differently.

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