Simple Living

In 2002, growing numbers of people were voluntarily choosing to live with less money as a way to distance themselves from consumerism. Using the model of the study circle, fiona heath gathered a set of readings and developed this booklet to encourage kitchen table conversations to talk about simplicity. You can read more about that guide below.

Eight years later, in 2010, the Working Centre hosted a series of workshops titled "Living With Less Money". Many of the resources gathered during that process are now available under the Living Frugally section of this website.

As we explore the idea of livelihood through our Localism project, living simply can be an important component of an individual's strategy to build a sustainable livelihood. Living simply is one more way to enable people to move beyond traditional notions of work and employment.

Simplicity Circle Study Guide

The Simplicity Circle Study Guide for Waterloo Region helps a small number of people (6-10) to work and learn together without need of outside resources or leaders. This Guide provides all necessary information to start a circle of your own, including practical organization tips, facilitation skills, and healthy conversation habits.

It is intended to support people interested in learning more about voluntary simplicity and putting it into practice in their own lives. Divided into ten weekly sessions, the guide provides structure and focus for discussion, background information on issues, and offers local resources and examples. The texts, from both international and local authors, illustrate the diverse range of lifestyles and concerns within the simplicity movement.

Feel free to download the guide using the link below. In the past we sold this book for $15. You can feel free to make a donation of any amount to support the continuing work of the Working Centre by visiting our donations website

You can download a PDF version of this booklet here (3MB).


Table of Contents

Beginnings 1
Participating in a simplicity circle 5

Week One: Introductions 9
Ecological Ways of Living Duane Elgin 11
Living Deliberately Janet Luhrs 11
Simplicity Cecile Andrews 12

Week Two: The Simple Life 15
Plain and Simple Sue Bender 17
Meaningful Living David Vickery 18

Week Three: You've Got Time 21
Rich in Things, Poor in Time Wolfgang Sachs 23
Reflections on Working Less Kathy Mostardi 25

Week Four: Working for a Living? 29
Breaking the Job Lock Andrew Kimbrell 31
The Price of Spirit and Conscience in Work Liliete Correia 34

Week Five: Money isn’t Everything 37
Does Economic Growth Improve Human Morale? David G Myers 39
Putting Values ahead of Wages Rose Simone 41

Week Six: Living in a Consumer Society 45
How Much is Enough? Alan Durning 47
Creative Inventiveness Jennifer Mains 52

Week Seven: Eating Well 57
Food Security The Moment 59
Feasting Stephanie Mancini 60

Week Eight: Going Local 65
The Web of Life Scott Russell Saunders 67
Building Relationships Joe Mancini 69

Week Nine: Celebration 75
Celebrations Doris Janzen Longacre 77
Spirit of the Season fiona heath 78

Week Ten: Reflection 81

Continuing on the Path 83

Resources 85

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