Several years ago I coined the term ‘frugal hedonism’, partly railing against the assumption – of more mainstream friends – that a life of gleaning, gardening, hitchhiking and op shopping was part of a grey and dismal martyrdom endured for the planet’s sake. But I knew my days were rich with sensory indulgence and diverse pleasures.
As time crept by, many of these friends plunged into debt, overwork, middle-aged spread and a general sense of entrapment. It became clear that curtailed-consumption keeps us self-reliant and free enough to be truly alive to pleasure, and I realised how protective it can be against many of the ‘ills of modern life’.
Anyone reading Pip is likely already pretty cluey about the ecological reasons for reining in our rabid consumer habits. However, reshaping our priorities and habits is challenging, especially in the face of a larger culture that suggests spending as the starting point for all pleasure. We don’t want to miss out on pleasure! We are only human.