Enjoying ourselves is a key to securing the future.

Shifting away from ecological overshoot and waste requires social/economic change. Technological fixes are not enough.

The change presented here is not really new. Throughout history, after food and shelter were taken care of, life-based activities filled people's lives.

While enjoying ourselves may seem an odd solution for today’s social and environmental issues, it makes sense in another way of thinking. The old way of thinking suggests cutting back on material consumption. The new thought is to expand the fulfillment one gets from living, to the point that one doesn't have time for, or interest in, much material consumption. They both address overconsumption, one from a discouraging perspective, the other from an attractive one.

More Fun, Less Stuff sticker

Stickers available.

Shifting one’s aspirations away from material accumulation and toward what one can do with living is a part of the climate* solution that anyone can contribute to---right now. More complex efforts toward technical and political reorganization will become easier as people adopt more fun, less stuff habits. Rising above our matrix of problems requires a societal change rather than just redirecting our modern techno-industrial muscle. More fun, less stuff affirms that there are ways of living that require far less in materials and energy.

To be clear, we are using the word "fun” to represent any activity that has a positive, uplifting influence on a person’s experience, without hurting anyone. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from Life-Based Pursuits. Relationships, learning, appreciation, service, sport, music, dance and other such activities are rooted in being alive. They require only our attention if we choose to partake.

Festivities, family, friends, wonder, and creativity were some of what life offered to our ancestors. They remain ours to enjoy. It took years of coercive dispossession and sophisticated, manipulative advertising to condition people away from such things and turn us into consumers, compelled to keep up with over-productive industrial machinery.

A Gentle Introduction to a New Economic Goal

The more we engage in life-based pursuits, the less we consume natural resources and pollute. Such a change in focus would reduce the exploitation of natural resources and people’s labour. Our creativity could instead be applied to healing the damage that has been done to our planet and harmonizing personal and international relations. Meanwhile, improved quality of our individual lives is a bonus.

“More Fun, Less Stuff” gently introduces a timely shift in our economic activity. After centuries of pursuing ever greater volumes of material wealth, the time has come to apply our enormous economic ability directly toward securing the well-being of all humans and ecosystems.

New measures of well-being can guide our activities. Rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which mixes up expenditures on food and education with those spent cleaning up traffic accidents and paying for divorce settlements, a Genuine Progress Index (GPI) would differentiate between life-enabling expenses and regrettable expenditures. A GPI would also correct the misunderstanding that comes from counting the costs of day-care as good for society, but not the efforts of loving parents; or the cost of paying to clean up polluted water but not the privilege of drinking from a naturally clean source.

As Albert Einstein said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” The “More Fun, Less Stuff” meme foretells the fundamental shift in thinking that will direct economic activity away from perpetual expansion and toward human thriving and ecological stability.

Aiming simply to expand the amount of money being spent (GDP) is past its best before date. It is like the metabolism of a child. Growing bigger is important for children, however, once grown, getting bigger becomes a problem. For adults it is important to stabilize our physical size and focus on expanding understanding, skills and networks of relationships.

In some disadvantaged parts of the world, it is still necessary to grow material activities to the point that they can provide the food, shelter, education and health care that their people need. Meanwhile, overdeveloped countries have plenty of room to end their exploitation of poor countries and to reduce their ecological impacts and destabilizing levels of inequality.

It’s a choice: Do we want to grow until we drop, or re-integrate with the natural world?

It is a Question of Direction.

More fun, less stuff is four memorable syllables that can help lead to the shift in economic focus. Please help spread them around. Once the phrase is familiar, it will provide a handle to pull the new system into view.

We have more than enough knowledge and talent to
enable humans to live on a healthy planet
for countless generations.

Let's make this our goal.

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* While Climate has gained public attention, it is only one symptom of overshoot. The old order’s pursuit of perpetual growth has overshot (grown beyond) what the Earth can sustainably provide. The more fun, less stuff approach also helps with other pollution issues, bio-diversity loss, resource depletion, inequality and the like.

Note: There is a problem with re-tooling the present system with renewable energy.

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