In the pursuit of living a sustainable, accountable and ethical lifestyle, some people are prepared to go much further than others.
Mark Boyle, The Moneyless Man, went a whole year without using any money. His book is fascinating and makes you realise just how dependent everything in our lives is on the financial system. And how broken that system is.
A Year Without Technology
Another of his experiments, and the book to accompany it, was his decision to go a full year rejecting all technology.
The Way Home, Tales From A Life Without Technology, is a thought provoking account of his experience. The sacrifices, the lessons learned and the joy of no longer living by ‘clock time’.
He shares his stories and insights and shines a light on some of the ridiculousness, and the relentlessness, of modern life.
Reading this book at this time has been especially poignant.
With the specter of war lingering ever closer. I’m more concerned about cyber attacks than nuclear attack. Russia could bring the West to its knees with a few nerds and servers, without irradiating the planet.
This, on top of a cost of living crisis in the UK. A crisis thanks to Brexit, COVID, and government failings to secure energy supplies for the future or hold energy companies accountable for their profiteering. They continue to drag their feet on renewable technology, as well as actively removing funding for green technology and price caps on energy. Headline grabs about Heat Source Grants that are rendered useless when most UK buildings aren’t even adequately insulated. It is enough to make you wonder how far you could live your life without the reliance on energy.
What could you change?
I’d love to have solar panels, but without grants to assist it’s out of reach. Just because we are a professional, working couple, doesn’t mean we have ten grand just kicking about to spend on solar panels. The cost of energy would have to increase significantly more for solar panels to pay for themselves within 20 years!
Personally, I’d like to see solar panels on every roof top. A city the size of Bristol has so much unused space on rooftops, I would bet it could be almost self sufficient!
We can all do lots of small things to reduce our energy consumption and there is plenty of advice online about this.
The Energy Saving Trust has lots of information and resources.
Money Supermarket also has some useful info.
But what if you already unplug everything and have energy saving lightbulbs everywhere?
Would you be able to make a huge mindset shift and stop using (some) technology?
Can you imagine a different life for yourself, one more in tune with nature’s rhythms. One where we can entertain ourselves without need for screens in our pockets and in every room of our homes?
Existential, or philosophical, questions to ask ourselves, perhaps.