Less Equals More

Graham Hill is the head of TreeHugger.com, one of the top sustainable news sites on the web. He recently gave a TED talk about his LifeEdited project. The project started with an open competition for someone to design his 420 sf apartment in a way that he could live with less, while having it all, including his own movie theater. The point of the talk is that we have too much stuff in our lives that we don't need and that we can be happier if we get rid of it.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8YJtvHGeUU?rel=0]

Less Doing embraces this concept. One the preffered definitions of efficiency is the ratio of inputs to output. Does spending four hours on a project produce more money than spending 2 hours on a different project? Do you get more enjoyment from having a stack of paperbacks on your bedside that you never get to read or having 200 books on your kindle that you get to read because they are more accessible? Remember the 80/20 rule

We can all do with a little less. Less clothing, less expenses, and of course, less work. If we look at our primal ancestors they only dealt with the essentials of shelter, warmth, food and water. Everything else was just play and there's pretty good evidence to suggest that they played A LOT. Obviously we have more responsibilities in modern life but as Graham points out, we have more space than any generation before and yet the storage industry is a booming $22,000,000,000 industry.

I don't want to sound like I'm preachign socialism, but the truth is a lot of that would be better suited in someone elses life. You don't need your prom dress, donate it to the high school girl who can't afford it. You don't need that stack of music CD's, burn them to your computer and donate them to a local library. Boxes of photos can be digitized so they can live on forever and be shared with the ones you love. Go paperless

The point is, reduce quantity to appreciate the quality.