A short commentary that looks at how consumption is linked to environmental problems, and how community can break the link. A narrative of a trip to the Utah wilderness for a survival course ties the commentary together.
I recently spent a week in the Utah wilderness with a group of thirty-something?s taking time away from our daily lives for a few days in the backcountry. We were part of a wilderness survival course, having forsaken a vacation at the beach or a mountain resort for a week among juniper, sagebrush, and burnt-red sand. We carried no tents, sleeping bags, or stoves; instead, we wrapped wool blankets around ourselves under the stars and turned raincoats into shelters when weather threatened. We sweated in 100-degree heat during the day, and huddled together during cold nights. And we did it all with more smiles than grimaces.
My minimalist trip to the wilderness confirmed something I?ve felt for a long time: we can be happy with far fewer material possessions than most of us ever consider. We live in a world of never-ending needs, which, in turn, are the causes of our environmental probl...
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