Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Twelve By Twelve - A One Room Cabin Off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream

Twelve by Twelve was written by environmental and humanitarian activist William Powers. After spending the better part of a decade in the global south working on humanitarian efforts and protecting the rainforests, William has a hard time reintegrating into American society. Fate strikes when his mother tells him about a co-worker: Jackie, that lives in a 12' by 12' cabin in the backwoods of North Carolina. Without running water or electricity, Jackie has made her carbon footprint the size of a Bangladeshi's. This book tells the story of the 6 weeks that William spends living in the 12x12 alone, and the life-changing experiences he encounters there.

This book deeply examines and questions the nature of living within a consumerist society - What do we really need? What can we do without, and how can living with less help us as a whole?
 If you can get a copy of this book, I definitely recommend it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Picture of the Month - May

Bryce Canyon, Utah - May 2010

This picture was taken on a Canon PowerShot

Minimal Living

    I came across the concept of minimalistic lifestyle a while back while searching for more information on alternative nutrition. After stumbling upon The Primal Blueprint and Mark's Daily Apple I became interested in modern day 'primal' living (hence the title for this blog - Primal Insomniac). I've always been interested in alternative lifestyles, this interest being enhanced by my passion for and study of the natural world, environmentalism, and alternative medicine. My studies specialize in sustainability, of which a common theme exists: living with less. In a society where wanting more and more material possessions is the norm, it was refreshing to hear there were people willing to grow against the grain.
Now I'm no where close to being what you could call a minimalist, but I have been applying minimalist strategies to my own life (strategy post coming soon!), working towards having less.
   "Why would you want less?" you might ask. There are many answers to this questions, and I have several that apply directly to me:
      Fewer possessions means:
  • less attachment to material goods
  • more free time to enjoy life - less time maintaining possessions/cleaning/organizing
  • more money for the future 
  • smaller ecological footprint

There's no doubt that this journey I am embarking on will not be easy, and although I'm downsizing my list of "things", there are many that will be hard to give up.

Some of my favorite minimalist blogs are

mnmlist - A minimal blog, about minimalism and its purpose/meaning
Becoming Minimalist
Everyday Minimalist

For the difference between simplicity and minimalism check out - ZenHabits