Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Less Stuff, More Happiness

 I was searching for an interesting topic for my blog and finally one nice title attracted my attention: “Less stuff, more happiness”. The first thought and question that came to my mind was “Is this any direct way to get happiness?” So, let’s see what I have “discovered”.

 First of all, like in my previous blog cases, I have searched to find out about the author. Graham Hill studied design and architecture. His company, ExceptionLab, is about creating sustainable prototypes. Graham Hill is the founder of TreeHugger.com, and is the author of Weekday Vegetarian.

 In his talk Graham Hill (2011) states his point of view that with less stuff people can obtain more happiness. The purpose of this talk is to consider the benefits of the edited life

 He starts his talk by comparing nowadays American’s space use with an American living 50 years ago. Now Americans use 3 times more space than they did 50 years ago. But to what does it lead? It results to lot of debts, environmental footprints, and stress. Hill states that less may equal more. This means that less stuff and less space are equal to less environmental footprints, save more money and more ease in life J. For finding some solutions in this area, he used project called Life Edited

 For this project he used example of his apartment. Like all other people he also needs convenient flat with all necessary rooms like home office, room for guests, bedroom, etc. For that is needed approximately 600 square feet space, but he has bought 420 square feet space apartment instead of 600 square feet space by saving approximately 200 square feet space. This is smaller space and it results to smaller utilities, which leads to save more money, also smaller footprint. Besides all these, it was designed in a proper way and fitted the needs of the author.

 Graham Hill offers the main 3 approaches that lead to get “less, small, little”. The first approach is “Edit ruthlessly”, which means to clear life from secondary products and think before buying, by asking ourselves a question “is that really going make me happier?” The second approach is “Think small”, as we want space efficiency, we should buy those things which we will be able to use for several years. The third approach is “Make multifunctional”, use multifunctional housewares, one such example of multifunctional housewares is a dining table which becomes a bed.

 What I liked in this talk is that the author states his main idea, point of view, and explains, presents by his own life examples. He talks about the positive effects of editing, also provides 3 ways which will help people to get the things smaller.

 Actually this talk wasn’t about any direct way to happiness, as I was thinking from the beginning, but it made me to think about such questions: “Could I do a little life editing? Would I change anything in my room, and change the stuff that I use? And would that life editing give me a little more freedom and more time?”
  And I have found the answers to these questions. So, when you enter to your room, take a second and think about these questions. 
 “Maybe less might equal more. So let’s make room for the good stuff…” Graham Hill

Source: Hill, G. (2011). Less Stuff, More Happiness. TEDTalks (Video podcast). Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8YJtvHGeUU

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