An Invitation

The tortoise project is an invitation (to you and to me) to take a deep breath and step back from the “I need MORE – more toys, more money, more stuff – to be happy/secure/successful/whatever” mentality that so dominates our world and our thinking.  It is an invitation to take personal responsibility and change the world at an individual level by being cognizant of the impacts our lifestyles have on the environment, on other people, and, perhaps most importantly, on ourselves.  The main purpose of the tortoise project is to explore and celebrate the various ways that we are or could be doing that.

This site is NOT about living “cheaply”, but about living frugally, simplifying our lives and slowing down into a state of thoughtful being. Living “cheaply” is penny-pinching, buying crap at walmart or some other megastore, and constantly hunting for a “bargain” – most of which sooner than later end up in a landfill.  Living frugally is being thoughtful in our choices and actions and not burdening ourselves with unnecessary stuff.  Living frugally is about looking at the entire cost of anything that we want or need – the environmental cost, and the working conditions, health and general well-being of the people who produce it or who are otherwise affected by its production – not just the cost at the till.  And, based on those costs, deciding if we really need that particular item or service to maximize our happiness.  Living frugally is also about living generously, about giving at least as much as we take, and not worrying too much about the accounting.

The tortoise project has grown out of my own life-long search for ways to live gently on this planet, and my search for ways to increase my time and energy to do the things that are truly important to me.

Because my own nature tends towards being nomadic, many of the thoughts I will share in these pages revolve around a nomadic lifestyle.  However I think there are many ways to live that are thoughtful and that have a positive impact on the earth and all of its inhabitant, and ultimately this site is an exploration and a celebration of all of those lifestyles and the people who strive to live them.

It is my hope that some of those people will also add their voices to these pages, so that ultimately this site becomes a conversation and not just my personal soapbox.

Thanks for reading.

Alex

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