The Challenge of Living Lightly

housepackssmHow do you fit a house of stuff into four backpacks?

We’ve always tried to live lightly, at least by North American standards. We’ve never owned a car and use a mix of cycling, walking, transit, and car sharing to get around. We shop locally, and favour local and natural foods. We have a modest, well-insulated home with energy-efficient appliances and pay a premium for green power. On the whole, we’re not doing too bad, and we don’t think our lifestyle has suffered for it. Quite the contrary, in fact.

We may not have a lot of the usual trappings of a North American lifestyle, but there is nothing like taking just one backpack each for the year to make you think about how much stuff we actually have. As we clear out the clutter to make room for our tenants, the big purge is underway and our local thrift shop and yard sale will be full of things we now realize we don’t need.