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E-M:/ Footprinting & Simple Living programs

Enviro-Mich message from "Molly Cole" <molly.cole@wmich.edu>

The Environmental Institute at WMU is presenting three programs with Jimi Merkel and Erica Sherwood of the Global Living Project. All are free and open to the public. The third program is in the evening and off campus so it will probably be the easiest to attend for most. The program details follow.

The Global Living Project is focusing programs on outreach with the 1999 Cycling for a Sustainable Future bike tour across the country. Jimi Merkel and Erica Sherwood, a.k.a. *the Wiseacres* of the Global Living Project, have talked with thousands of people about the advantage of living simply, equitable and harmoniously within the means of nature.  After traveling across the United States on their bicycles, the tour will pass through Kalamazoo on their way back from Maine.

Using ecological footpinting as a yardstick and incorporating the household accounting principles of the national best seller Your Money or Your Life they will explore a myriad of ways to meet the current situation on earth.  With thought and creativity, we can seek ways to embody joyous, meaningful lifestyles that are truly *sustainable.*

Below is a summary of the workshops that will be offered.


4202 Dunbar
Wednesday, October 27, 1pm @ 3 pm


Shrinking our ecological footprint—a workshop highlighting the newest ecological footprint from all over the globe and practical inspiration on the transition to a sustainable culture.  Both citizens and students are invited to explore their callings while contributing to solving humanity’s most pressing social and ecological challenges.  Is it possible in North America to live a life that is equitable with other humans as well as with other species?  The trends of accelerating population growth and consumerism on a finite planet are a recipe for disaster that could play out in our lifetimes.  Could our material abundance, education and creativity be harnessed in this new millennium to create an equitable, peaceful and sustainable planet?  Examples of sustainable lifestyles in Kerala, India, the Himalayas, and the Global Living Project of British Columbia will offer a dose of hope for the new millennium.


Lee Honors College (lounge)
Thursday, October 28, 10:00am - 11:30am

The morning alarm rings.  You take a hot shower, brew up a cup of coffee, read a bit from the morning newspaper and hop in the car to get to work on time.  Every step in this process has an environmental impact.  And it has impacts on people, particularly you.  In many cases it can drain the planet’s life energy, and the life energy of ourselves.  Why do we get caught in the fast lane, buying things we do not even want with money we do not have, in an attempt to keep up with the Jones’s?  In an interactive workshop using ecological footprinting and some life-planning skills as posed in the national best seller Your Money or Your Life, we will design possible homesteads that can advance sustainability.  They won’t be so entangled with global markets and technological systems vulnerable to collapse.  They won’t drain the Earth’s resources; and they won’t drain us either.  We will explore a strong foundation of simple living strategies able to build a secure and constructive life.


People’s Church
1758 N. 10th Street
Thursday, October 28, 7:00pm with dessert social

A slide show with poems, research and adventure by Jim Merkel on sustainable lifestyles in the southern Indian state of Kerala.  Kerala provides inspiration and insight into human possibilities as well as a wealth of information on alternative—often radical—approaches of achieving excellent life quality (education, health care, replacement fertility, food distribution, democratic access to local, and small scale income producing opportunities).  Jim Merkel is the founder of the Global Living Project and the Alternative Transportation Task Force, has led hundreds of workshops and was the recipient of the Gaia Fellowship to research resource use in Kerala India.

***Followed by dessert social, bring a dessert to share if you’d like to stay and talk.

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