Country Farm Style House Plans For Simple, Enjoyable Living

Simple living means minimizing stress by minimizing the pursuit of conspicuous consumption and wealth for its own sake.  The decision for voluntary simplicity is often made for health reasons; as a philosophical or spiritual path; or to increase the amount of quality time which a person has to spend with friends and family.  Often the decision is motivated by a desire to save the earth; or by considerations of social justice.  As Duane Elgin put it, the decision for voluntary simplicity means being outwardly more frugal but inwardly richer – the exact opposite of how our society trains us to be.  The choice of simple living, for example, means choice of country farm style house plans rather than luxury building.  It means growing at least some of your own food, even if all this means is a few pots of herbs or jars of sprouts growing on a windowsill.  It means relying on public transportation whenever possible rather than driving one’s own car.  It means generating as little non-recyclable waste as possible. The beginnings of the philosophy of simple living go back to the Athenian philosopher Epicurus, who taught that the problems and worries inherent in living a sumptious lifestyle outweigh the pleasures.  Epicurus believed that anything beyond what is really necessary for life and simple comfort should be avoided.  In more recent times, movements such as the Shakers, Amish, and Mennonites have deliberately sought a style of life excluding wealth and technology.  Henry David Thoreau’s classic Walden was a statement against the non-sustainable lifestyle of mid-nineteenth century America.  Thoreau’s log home house plan life was an inspiration to Henry Stephens Salt in England, who popularized the Simplification idea in Victorian Britain; and to George Lorenzo Noyes in New England, who wrote about sustainable lifestyle and spiritual communion with nature.  In the early twentieth century the Vanderbilt Agrarian movement advocated sustainability and traditional agrarian values. The simplicity movement grew in the twentieth century, inspired by such authors as Richard Gregg, Gary Snyder, Ralph Borsodi, and Helen and Scott Nearing, who wrote about leaving the city with their bungalow craftsman house plans and their vision of a better life.   The hippie movement of the 1960′s was the first mass movement which advocated leaving the cities to return to the land.  The main spokesperson for simple living today is Duane Elgin, whose Voluntary Simplicity was published in 1981 and remains the bible of the voluntary simplicity movement.  Nowadays voluntary simplicity means reducing one’s need for bought items and services, and reducing correspondingly the amount of time sold for money.  Simple living means seeing that freedom results from giving up worrying about money, rather than accumulating more and more of it.  It means understanding that our society is headed for a fall.  Jared Diamond’s Collapse, which explains the historic reasons why previous civilizations perished and makes it plain that our own society is making the same errors, was a nationwide bestseller.  Clearly, simple living is an idea whose time has come.

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