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Bikepacker67 06-09-06 07:11 PM

How Simply Do I live?

It has to do with the Krebs cycle and something called the Electron Transport Chain, but my biology is a bit rusty.

How SIMPLE do I live?

Well... I can pack up my life in about a dozen large boxes.

rs_woods 06-10-06 11:00 AM

Oh yeah? Well, I can pack my life up on my rear rack! Had to do it before, and will do it again soon.

Don't have anything in the way of physical possessions that I'm attached to, except my bike stuff and important legal docs (HS diploma, military records, birth certificate, etc). All my furniture, non-cycling clothes, etc was either bought cheap and used or given to me, and I'm a strong believer in the "freely you recieve, so freely you give" thing.

marcm 06-14-06 07:23 PM

Jack Burns: Very well said! Thank you.

And thanks to everyone for their contributions to a most inspiring thread.

brunop 06-24-06 10:29 AM

i do have a car (honda civic)
no computer (i am at work)
no tv
no ipod (i do have a boom box cause i like to listen to music and drink wine when i cook)
no gears (2 fixed gear bikes):) :) :)

heywood 06-30-06 08:38 PM

you don't have kids do you.. :)

nedgoudy 06-30-06 10:46 PM

I could live under a bridge
if I had to. I would rather
slum it in the burbs tho and
go car free.

Will P 07-01-06 07:14 AM

Originally Posted by Roody

Who are your philosophers of simplicity? I like Buddha because he teaches not to get attached to things. I also like Thoreau because he simplified to the core and because he knew how to live outdoors.

I'm a follower of the Buddha and Thoreau, as well; sometimes I do better than others, but I keep on trying.

Roody, are you from the upper or lower?


Roody 07-01-06 03:23 PM

Will, I'm a true troll--I live under the bridge. (Only people from Michigan will know what we're talking about.)

I just got a book from the library called "Hooked." It's a Buddhist analysis of consumer culture and our "addiction" to things. I'll post more info and a little review here when I finish it.

smithers 07-01-06 05:14 PM

smithw, i have only one -oh, no, two! of those things that you listed going on: pets over 10 lbs. and i'm partnered... i think you're probably right about your list, unless maybe one is married and BOTH partners are likeminded. luckily i am, and our 2 pups arepretty low key. they want all that we do: food, exercise, and sleep! we won't talk about sex.

Will P 07-02-06 05:59 AM

Originally Posted by Roody
Will, I'm a true troll--I live under the bridge. (Only people from Michigan will know what we're talking about.)

I just got a book from the library called "Hooked." It's a Buddhist analysis of consumer culture and our "addiction" to things. I'll post more info and a little review here when I finish it.

I'm a troll, also, but I'm married to a thick-headed-Finlander-yooper, so I have honorary status above the bridge (10% off on pasties, fudge, and smoked-fish.)

I'll check on the book at my library. Sounds interesting.


Roody 07-02-06 11:26 AM


My grandfather's family farmed in the U.P. so I feel like an honorary yooper too. Not long before my mother died, we took her to the ancestral graveyard, located in the eastern U.P., almost midway between the straits and the Soo. It was a very moving occasion, and the last time she was able to travel away from home. I have wonderful memories and photos of that day.

gizmocat 07-10-06 04:49 AM

I work in a high tech industry so must have a very high end computer. It's a desktop. I don't own a portable since I also have a desktop at work.
My job also requires me to own a zone free DVD player and a good quality monitor.
That aside, the rest of my life is pretty low-tech. I do not watch television (though I spend about four hours a day online.)
My main exercise is the bicycle since I don't walk well after the auto accident.
I purchase locally grown organic food from the farmers and pick up deliveries on the bicycle (formerly my giant Cypress; since yesterday, my Trek 7200.)
I own a cat who has to eat meat but I am mostly vegetarian.
All the lamps in the house are compact fluorescent. (Vegetarianism and the elimination of incandescent lights in the house are the Greenest things you can do and they take relatively little effort).
I love books and have far too many of them. If the job situation here changes for the better they will mostly be donated to a college library.
and I am still debating the practicality of a bicycle commute to work..sadly, since i would have to cross a busy highway and carry a lot of materials that would weigh me and the bike down, I shall probably stick to carpooling.
Most of my furniture was bought second hand; it's either antique or almost, and it is fun and very lovely.
My weaknesses are beautiful objects. The house is full of them and I must decide whether to clear out some of the clutter soon.

fastturtle 08-02-06 04:03 PM

This is the life I would like to live, ideally. If I really knew what I want. If I were more self confident. If I didn't have 2 teenage boys twice as materialistic as I am. If my wife left me and I had to start all over again... Well I guess she won't, and it is better so.


KilgoreTrout595 08-03-06 10:11 PM

i find that living in a city, i dont need a car. i live right by the grocery store, and i ride to and from work, and for that matter i ride a bike for a living. i dont miss car payments, or insurance, or gas, and i dont miss having a car. i pray for a drought though, and temperate weather. it has been 100 degrees every single day in savannah for like the last month.

littlefoot 08-04-06 06:00 PM

The area I'm currently in kinda suburban...but not too big and is easy enough to traverse by bicycle...I don't see why more folks arouund here don't. Lots of cagers feel that cyclists should be banned from the road around here....Spartanburg SC. But what I have generally found is very little animosity...which seems to be more geared to zelot roadies clad in Lycra thinking they are 'Lancies' I ride a pretty lowkey and utilitarian bike(s) and generally work with traffic as best as I can to avoid getting killed.

I found I was able to downsize my life considerably after my ex an I split up...and even more so recently after traveling around the US for essentially the past year with a back pack. I thought that if I really was going to live a carfree life I needed to be some place more 'progressive' so I spent time on the left coast.and don't get me wrong I like it over there but I honestly felt that until I really did something in the south I really wasn't doing anything....reading this I feel like I'm rambling and I guess I am....

I guess my point is I'm trying to keep it simple southern style :D ...I'm getting more intune with things daily which is great...and every once in awhile I get to rap with someone around town at the farmers market or the library about what I'm finding to be a better way of life for most of my 'adult'life there was the absurd notion that If I wasn't accumulating a bunch of crap....I wasn't happy. By far one of the best things that every happened to me was being evicted and having the majority of my things either taken...or I gave them away to people passing by.

Cosmoline 08-04-06 06:21 PM

I've tried hard to simplify my life these past few years. I judge my success by the amount of space I take up and the number of keys on my chain. I'm down to a single 15x20 foot apartment plus bathroom and six keys. I let the ex have the rest :D

jeremyb 08-07-06 06:07 PM

yeah my gf and i just moved to portland, and i got rid of a lot of stuff. We made the trip using a 16' rental truck (i know not impressive to some, but i like having things. we had 7 bikes.)

It did feel good to give like 2 large boxes of books to the library, bags and bags of stuff to goodwill etc.


bdinger 08-16-06 10:51 AM

I'm working on it. In the past week I've:
-reduced my DirecTV service to the bare minimum (I'm under contract on it, and my soon-to-be-stepkids love the educational channels)
-sold a computer and various components that were not doing anything, and using up lots of power
-unplugged and turned off electronic devices that are no longer needed
-Given up driving completely except for emergencies during the week, and only drive on Saturday for errands needing a vehicle.
-Selling a old musclecar that has been a restoration project forever
-reduced the features on my cell service that I never use
-cut up two credit cards, kept the one with the lowest APR intact but stowed in a "safe place" for emergenices, rather than easy access in the wallet
-started organizing my home and will be giving away things I no longer need

It's very refreshing to start living simply. And I'm only starting :)

pakole 08-16-06 07:47 PM

nice job.

jeremyb 08-19-06 06:06 PM

now that were in portland, its a lot easier to get around by bike than it was in Sacramento. This city is designed much better for bikes, and many people take advantage of that. I bought a thrift store bike for my gf, for $20, fixed it up with new tires, new saddle and a tune up, and im surprised that she actually rides around town with me to go to the farmers market etc.

Riding my bike when I would have driven 6 years ago feels really good, like im donating to some charity--- like im doing something good for my planet and myself. i am.


jetbike 08-25-06 10:35 PM

The Simple Life
Yep, this is an on-going ebb and flow for me.

Currently I ride everywhere possible. My family has one car (stationwagon) which gets used infrequently for moving babies and my partner's business stuff around. We eat at home 90% time, veggie/vegan - ingredients provided by food co-op. My partner has an amazing sense of responsibility. She's the reason we save money.

Prior to children we owned virtually nothing. I arrived in Australia with a back-pack and nothing else. Everything we did own or use was either second-hand or borrowed. When our baby was born we got $3000 from the government. Most people buy a stroller and a cot and not much else. We furnished our house and bought all the stuff a baby could ever need.

My Achilles heels are music and books. I own too many cds and dvds. I'm a musician, I own four guitars and two computers (for music), as well as amps, mics and mixing desks etc. More books come to me all the time. I'm in the library too. I've gotta say that owning books, movies and music is a good thing. They enrich your life - invaluable.

Add to that five bikes, a few pans, a crappy tv and dvd player and you have our total possessions.

The only regular expense or treat we have are yoga classes and occassional movie tickets

It's difficult to do this when you've got a baby, but we're nearly there. We'll start growing our own food next year.

This way we can afford to live on one income and have a good life. We manage to save and go away on holiday. Most of my peers (most of which have kids) are in the credt/debt cycle. They're killing themselves to up-grade their cars, cell-phones, tv etc. I am proud to say I don't have any credit cards, at all.

I think a balance is important. I love life and it's many, varied delights, but I'm aware of my footprint on the earth.

Now I need to work less and we're there.

CH Style 08-26-06 04:50 PM

Paring down the Stash
I think that simplicity is a state of mind. What's simple for one, is too much or not enough for another. Btu it is an ongoing process whereby we figure out, through trial and error, what it is that we do and don't need. I am a reforming pack rat, I say reforming becuase there still is too much stuff around me I figure. But I have found this tread to be truly inspirational and have been ungoing a process of purification of stuff. I've had a number of cars through my life, but living down down for the past year, I'm a bike-aholic. Year round p[oses no problems, in fact ion the winter I'm usually sweaty by the time I arrive where it is that I'm going.

I am starting to get a an even keel though in terms of material stuff. I am only buyuing quality product now, kitchen appliances espically. WE can enjoy life, living simply, without having to live without. It's a balance that each person must find themselves, and when the balance starts to become clear, life gets clearer too. The world is now a better place from all the stuff that I've donated and given away, and there's only more where that's come from.

Shout out to Toronto and all the "simplitans" that live here!!

CH Style :D

cal_gundert05 09-09-06 05:23 PM

I think this is a great thread, if not for inspiration then just because it's interesting.
I always considered myself fairly minimalist:
-I almost never eat out of my own accord (if I'm away from home and need something to eat, I usually buy peanuts from a gas station)
-I drink only water which I get from my faucet and carry with me almost always (I do have milk with cereal, too)
-Besides clothes (which I don't own much of), almost everything I own is in a 3 1/2' X 1' plastic box (nice dress shoes, laptop manual, some mags, multi-tool, umbrella, other small things)
-I also have a laptop, a few cds and dvds, a small desk, chair, bed, and bike
-I also have some climbing stuff, but I'm trying to get rid of that

However, I do buy lots of old, used paperbacks (literature and educational) that book stores sell for cheap (25 cents) or free because they're old

While I have little interest in buying things for myself, I like buying things for my family (or giving them my books when I'm done with them). Maybe this is what Gandhi meant...or maybe I'm using my family to store all my junk.:D

TomM 09-16-06 04:48 PM

Why do people equate simple living with getting rid of possessions? That seems to be a common idea on this thread.

marcm 09-17-06 10:45 AM

Perhaps because many people feel that they have too many possessions -- more than they need -- and that getting rid of the clutter is one step toward a simpler life.

pakole 09-19-06 12:39 AM

Well, for a lot of people simple living is having fewer possesions then they currently have. I know for me I got rid of all of my magazine subscriptions because it was just an additional burden on me. Does that mean that simple living is necessarily having few possessions? No in fact, simple living may have require one to have more possessions. It is depended on your life and your own personal needs and desires.

Serendipper 09-19-06 01:21 AM

Originally Posted by TomM
Why do people equate simple living with getting rid of possessions? That seems to be a common idea on this thread.

If you possess too many things, one day you will realize that they actually posses you.

We spend a disproportionate amount of out lives and ambitions pining for things that require so much maintainence, upkeep, insurance, planning, thought, finance, and all to be discarded and replaced by a newer, 'better' model.

Roody 09-19-06 11:08 AM

^^Yup. Well said.

oilfreeandhappy 09-25-06 11:52 PM

I live fairly simply, but my wife is an artist. Artists do tend to accumulate stuff. It's fun to see the creativity at work, but sometimes I'm amazed at the amount of space it takes.

My Father-in-Law has recently moved in with us. I thought this would mean more clutter. But he is very good at keeping his stuff in his room, and it's forced my wife to clean up a lot of her areas.

liamgreen 09-26-06 08:07 AM

I live incredibly easily, I don't even own a television, my main form of entertainment is my Game Boy Advance and breaking locks and of course racing bikes

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