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Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Dezember 2007

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David Wann makes a compelling case that the current fiscal squeeze is really a good thing in Simple Prosperity. A coauthor of the best selling Affluenza, he covers a lot of solution-oriented ground, from conscientious consumption and cohousinig to building human-scale neighborhoods and dismantling the fossil fuel economy... --Utne Reader
“This book is full of wisdom for real living; and it will help you find a kind of wealth that's woven right within the fabric of everyday life.” — Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters

"We've reached a point in our planet's history when nothing less than fundamental change is needed. In his book Simple Prosperity, David Wann proposes that we move away from an obsession with material wealth to an abundance of time, relationships, and experiences." -- Wendy Priesnitz, editor, Natural Life Magazine

Simple Prosperity reads like a well-loved novel, engaging and educational. David Wann offers creative solutions to the challenges of over- consumption and makes it a thoroughly enjoyable read.  -- Jill Cloutier, Producer, Sustainable World Radio, KCSB

This book can help you reassess your goals. Our overconsumptive lifestyle is out of sync with our real values, says David Wann, and we can find greater contentment by creating vibrant communities, right-sizing our homes, valuing our time, and nurturing our health. Debra Jones, Sierra Magazine

Living a life that is outwardly simple while inwardly rich could well be the great challenge of the 21st century. Wann provides an accessible road map. Rebecca Jones, Rocky Mountain News

Simple Prosperity outlines a different vision for American society. A society that focuses on wealth in community and health and love instead of monetary wealth. Simple Prosperity gives thought on HOW to take a step back from the massive amounts consuming and advertising and find your own brand of happiness. A Deeper Green Blog

I shut the back cover of Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle and slid it into my library bag. It was an interesting read: more affirming than eye opening, more a map than a book. Throughout Simple Prosperity, David Wann directs us along a road toward a more meaningful life - one that we build instead of buy. He points out the pitfalls, jots down directions to the scenic back roads and promises a worthwhile destination - a well-lived life. Green Bean Dreams blog

Wann poses a very provocative question: If the lifestyle we've been leading is making a mess of the environment, using up many of the world's resources and leaving us queasy as a culture, why not just move on to something else? The strongest feature of Simple Prosperity is its ability to direct us in understanding who we are and what we want, resulting in a greater sense of clarity and direction.  --Bette Erickson, Boulder Daily Camera

With some economic hard times erupting in addition to the environmental challenges that are beginning to hit the fan, here is a book that looks at the bright side of cutting back.  With Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle, David Wann, co-author of Affluenza, wants to turn the American Dream on its head--from a focus on the accumulation of wealth to the dream of investing in things that really matter: communities. "social capital," wellness, and a better way of life.  And all this works in tandem with cuttinig energy use, localizing our neighborhoods, and foregoing our dependence on fossil fuels. -- Less is More Blog 

The idea that overconsumption is a fundamental problem, not solution, in the maintenance of a healthy economy and planet is not a new idea, but I’ve never heard it articulated so clearly and succinctly before as in Simple Prosperity - and it is already helping me to think about things in a new light. -- Mark Wagner blog, 

"This is a valuable and concise digest of much that we've figured out in recent years, about health, stress, joy, community. The only thing it won't tell you how to do is make more money; instead, it will let you see that you may already have enough."--Bill McKibben, author Deep Economy

"Perhaps the highest compliment one writer can give another is 'I wish I’d said that!' David Wann has woven together all the right stuff to make a compelling and appealing case for the abundance of enough and the poverty of more. He stands firmly with one foot in the intimate details of daily life and the other in the shocking details of the degradation of healthy ecosystems and communities. Both the appeal of a better personal life and the horror of what will be upon us if we don’t act should get us all on the Simple Prosperity bandwagon."--Vicki Robin, coauthor YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE, cofounder CONVERSATION CAFES

"Dave Wann's recipes from his own experience in Simple Prosperity are a breath of fresh air, and just what we need for a saner future. They include ideas, sound research and down-to-earth advice we can all use. This book is also much more: a friendly, personal guidebook for living a more enjoyable, healthy, loving life."--Hazel Henderson, author, Ethical Markets: Growing The Green Economy

"If ever there was a right book at the right time, Simple Prosperity is it. This country needs this book."--Lester R. Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute, author of Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

DAVID WANN is the author of many books, including the bestselling Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, which he co-authored. He lives in Golden, Colorado.


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Simple Prosperity Shows You that You Already have Enough 2. Januar 2008
Von Eric J. Olson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Republished Blog Post:

I recently finished up a book entitled Simple Prosperity that was written by David Wann, one of the co-authors of Affluenza (in fact, it was so interesting I blew through it in two sittings). In Affluenza, David and his co-authors diagnosed the debilitating disease of over-consumption that is effecting America and other parts of the world. Simple Prosperity picks up where Affluenza left off and shows us how we can make a change for the better and increase our quality of life.

In fact, as another reviewer put it, Simple Prosperity will take you through a lot of what researchers have learned about stress, happiness, community, etc. The one thing it won't do is show you how to make more money. It'll show you that the money you have may already enough.

In the book Wann relates a lot of personal stories that tie into his message of consuming less and being happy with what you have. There are a lot of interesting points in the book relating to happiness which is one of the main themes. Specifically Wann tells us, and backs it up with studies and other anecdotes, that the things that make us happy are the things we always knew made us happy. Those things being friends, family, a sense of community, healthy food to eat, civic work and purpose.

One piece of information that I found interesting was a study referenced by Wann in the book that mentioned that any incremental money we earn over $50,000 per year doesn't necessarily make us any more happy. In fact, it most likely lowers our happiness level since we need to spend more time working to make each additional dollar rather than spending that time with friends, family, doing civic work and doing the things we love, our hobbies.

Of course I am sure you need to adjust that dollar amount for certain cities (NYC is super expensive for example) but you get the idea.

Another main theme of the book was our throw away culture. Wann wonders why we spend so much time and money buying cheaply made goods that end up owning us through continued maintenance, etc. Then, at the end of a short life span we just throw them away. He suggests we would be better off to spend a bit more and purchase quality goods that last. This hearkens back to my previous post on Etsy and handmade goods. If Etsy's success is a barometer for the rest of the nation then it would seem a lot of other people feel the same as Wann. This idea also extends to produce and other foods.

Wann argues that spending a bit more for organic produce is worth it since it tastes better, provides more nutrients and isn't covered in poisonous pesticides. I agree with him on that one. It hurts the wallet sometimes but I always feel better after a good piece of fruit or an outstanding veggie. What always stuns me when I think about it is that 100 years ago - and further back from there - we always ate organic. It has only been in the last 100 years that things have changed so drastically.

Even though there is a lot more to this book I want finish this post up by touching on Wann's thoughts on the internet (figured I would try to tie this into the blog's subject matter!).

Good news, he loves the internet and sees it (rightly I would say) as an unprecedented platform for spreading ideas and connecting the world.

However, one thing I found interesting was the fact that Wann mentions multiple times in the book that he really dislikes advertising. In fact, he tends to blame advertising for a lot of the over-consumption in America (not sure I can disagree 100% with him there although I would suggest we all have free will).

Why is that interesting to me you ask? Mainly because he loves the internet - and even specifically mentions that he loves Google - but most of the internet, including Google, is paid for via advertising. It seems like there is a little misalignment there. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Update: In thinking about it more and speaking with the publisher it seems that what Wann was really getting at with advertising is that he didn't like the execution of most ads (i.e. he's not against advertising in general). He is upset that many ads share fear-driven, consumptive messages urging you to buy things to fill holes in your life rather than being informative and creative. I would agree with that which is why I joined BuzzFeed. We're looking to change ads to be more about other people talking about the products they love rather than the companies touting themselves (plug!).

That said, I really enjoyed the book and Wann's vision on what we could do for the environment and our society if we all just put in a little more thought and effort. Wann has done a lot to further the cause of sustainability over his career and his efforts should be commended.

Now is a crucial time for our society and for the planet. It's time to start thinking about sustainability and about what makes us truly happy. We can make a change for the better. I have no doubt in that.
83 von 97 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Yuppie stuff 3. August 2008
Von Harold A. Roth - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I've been gardening organically for 25 years, but only in the past ten or so have I done anything about trying to simplify my life so that I am not being such a resource hog. I've looked at all sorts of info about how to do this. I thought this book would be a good source. It isn't, though, unless you are a yuppie.

For instance, the author described how he decided to put his money where his mouth was in terms of sustainability by quitting his job at the EPA and going freelance to write full time about the subject. A very laudable endeavor, to my mind, and being self-employed, I certainly have an understanding of just how scary it is to risk all on a dream. But when I read that the author one year made very little money, and that "very little money" was $30,000, well, I just had to laugh out loud. Mr. Wann, in the US, $34,000 is the average income.

Then I read about how we can all conserve by cutting down on the size of our house. Another laudable idea. But did you know that many people would not consider a 1700 square foot house adequate? He described such a home he had visited (as one might a museum) as being built like a sailboat, with everything in its place, all squared away and tucked up. The implication was that it was a lot to ask a family to live in such a "tiny" house. He should take a trip to my city, where the vast majority of houses are actually smaller than 1700 square feet, and most of them are occupied by at least one family.

The author described how he presently makes do living in 1000 square feet. Yes. He lives alone. Well, I am here to tell you that I live in 550 square foot house, and that also houses my business, with its entire inventory, and my five wide-bodied cats. And if I did not have my business in this house, I would consider it too large. Really. When I first moved in, it seemed small after the 1000 square feet I was living and working in and storing my inventory in. Now, I see how big 550 square feet really is. So hearing someone kind of brag about 1000 square feet for one person, all I can think is that this person is running in very very different circles than I am.

The author repeatedly stated that gardening was free. In all my years of gardening, it has never been free. There are seeds to buy, inputs to get, tools to acquire, books to learn from, and most of all, time to work in the garden and study and learn about it. Time is not free. I firmly believe in encouraging people to garden. It is part of my business, in fact. I guess if you think of $30,000 a year as a serious hardship, then gardening is in fact relatively free. But again, for an average person, it would not be free at all.

This book also needed a good editor to deal with the repetition. Some facts were repeated three times. There weren't many facts referenced, either. Some things were a little unbelievable, like all the people who did NOT participate in a cancer survivors support group died. I smell mendacity in the air.

If you are a yuppie, and you are very concerned with the Earth and are considering sacrificing your bloated McMansion for something really really small, like 3,000 square feet, and maybe trading in the landwhale for a Prius, then this is the book you need to read so you can feel righteous about your great self-sacrifices. And you could really deepen your knowledge of yuppie deprivation/sacrifice by buying it together with "Righsizing Your Life," which describes how it is possible to exist with only three complete sets of china instead of four (seriously). But if you are an average American who is looking for practical ways to increase the sustainability in your life, to simplify it, you will just feel a little bit disgusted by this. I encourage you to find other books on sustainability that are written by people who are a little less wealthy or who at least have some consciousness of what an average American earns and how we live.
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An economy That's Culturally Richer and Materially Leaner 2. Februar 2008
Von Susan L. Keen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I've read most of David Wann's books about over-consumption, well-designed neighborhoods, organic gardening, and sustainable ways of living and designing, but this one is his best effort yet. He puts words and concepts together in a way that makes the book an easy read, even though it's packed with facts, examples, and actions to create a new lifestyle guided by a much greener "everyday ethic."

To me, the book's important message is that human needs remain the same across all cultures, throughout history. What changes is the way we try to meet those needs. Needs are finite and achievable--meeting essential needs satisfies us the way eating a healthy, great-tasting meal does. But most "wants" are infinite and insatiable--we eat too much and still aren't satisfied. As the psychologists in the book point out, our society is overfed and undernourished in many way.

Reading Simple Prosperity made me realize that we are trying to BUY essential, basic qualities (like appreciation, respect, health, self esteem, freedon, security and creativity) when in many cases we could satisfy these needs without spending any money at all.

Wann argues persuasively that we have the social, phychological and technical tools to build a more sustainable society, and that there is not higher goal we could aspire to. For me, each paragraph in the book is like another brick of that new, more compassionate culture.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Timely Follow-Up to Affluenza 26. Februar 2008
Von A. Gorsevski - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
For people not familiar with the subject matter of Simple Prosperity, it is a fantastic wake-up call. For those, like me, who are familiar with Mr. Wann's earlier work, particularly Affluenza, Simple Prosperity serves to re-focus our efforts to step off the hyper-consumeristic bandwagon so many of us mindlessly have boarded.

History will show that David Wann was way ahead of the curve. Soon enough the planet will punish us for our waste and excess, however, as the book makes clear, having to live with less quantity does not mean we have to give up quality. In fact, at some point the opposite is true, and as the book makes clear, less is more when it comes to enjoying life. What is the use of making a six figure salary if you don't enjoy your life or have time to relax, enjoy your family or pursue a hobby?

The book is most effective when Wann cites statistics and case histories, less effective (at least for me) when personal examples are used. The book uses the right amount of humor and does not try to preach or scare people into changing their lifestyles. Instead the message is more upbeat.

Unless the reader is completely close minded, this book will stay with you and result in some lifestyle changes. Reading it, you want to nod your head and say, "that's right, I knew that but it never made so much sense until now." Eventually, either voluntarily or out of necessity, more and more people will scale back and re-claim their lives from the fast-paced, angry, consumeristic impulses we've been subjected to for the past few decades.
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Should be required reading for every American 22. Februar 2008
Von Carrie J. Lang - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Reading this book couldn't have come at a better time for me personally, as I'm in the midst of getting ready to quit my job and our family live off one income. The messages in this book really resonated with me... feeling a need to simplify, choose quality of life over quantity of income, and focus on relationships that I haven't given enough time to while working. I would love for everyone I know to read this book, but I fear so many would not be open to the raw, honest but true message - that happiness comes with less not more. Our society has pulled so far away from the principles of the founding fathers... life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are working ourselves to death, to pay for credit card bills and mortgages we can't afford. This book helped restored my faith that there is still hope for change.
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