‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’
[A]t the time we came up with the theme for this issue, we were living in cabin in the middle of the woods in Port Renfrew, a tiny coastal town on the Pacific West Coast of Vancouver Island. As the cabin is completely off-grid, (no water or power), we quickly embraced the need to be resourceful and self-sufficient, with chores like fetching water and preparing firewood and kindling becoming part of our routine. Evenings were spent by candlelight, strumming the guitar or reading, the absence of appliances and gadgets was a delight. Despite being only 90 minutes away from the next major town, Port Renfrew has maintained a way of living that is reminiscent of the good ol’ days when things moved at a slower pace and people enjoyed more quality time out of their day. Neighbours look out for one another and it’s not uncommon for folks to trade or share fish and produce that has been caught or grown locally. There’s no mobile phone reception, no supermarkets, no traffic lights and as such, there is an air of tranquility. At the end of the day, there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from enjoying the simple things in life. After months of experiencing this lifestyle, it got us thinking that a simpler life equals a happier life, which is the theme that lies at the core of this issue.
We live in a time where we’re constantly advancing. Everything is becoming bigger, better, faster, more powerful. All of these modern, highly technological advancements, while impressive as they often are, are not only reaping untold devastation on the planet, but only serve to complicate our lives and feed our addiction to mindless consumption. The world’s population is growing faster than it ever, and with the impact this is having on the environment, it’s crucial for everyone to be living far more consciously and aiming to live with a minimal carbon footprint and it’s not a coincidence that a simpler life also lends itself to living with a minimal carbon footprint!
It’s refreshing to see some folk going against the norm and living far more simply, respecting the environment, living as self-sufficiently as possible and embracing the concept of simplicity. People are starting to realise that we need to drastically change our behaviours to ensure the future of planet earth and the phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ has more relevance than ever before. We all play an active role in the care and conservation of this planet and with the growing number of websites dedicated to sharing knowledge regarding downshifting, the ‘slow’ movement, permaculture, and other environmentally-conscious websites, there’s no reason why we can’t work together towards a sustainable future.
We aren’t romanticising the notion of simplicity and suggest that everyone move to some idyllic location and sever ties with the modern world, we simply believe simplicity and sustainability can be found whether you live in a bustling city or in the countryside and want to show that there are ways to implement these concepts into your psyche and lifestyle.
We were really inspired by the folks we’ve featured in this issue, who are all demonstrating there are a myriad of ways we can live, work and play in ways that are considerate of the earth. These characters are doing their thing and are all achieving amazing feats in their own right, but they also appreciate and make time to enjoy the simple things in life, which they believe brings them the most happiness.
Make time for simplicity in your life, escape the grind, go hiking, go camping, if you live in a large city, simply go for a stroll around the park or pack a picnic and enjoy a lazy afternoon in a garden somewhere. Do anything that offers respite from the chaos of the city that will bring a sense of tranquility to your life. You only need to go away on a weekend road trip to come back feeling energised after connecting with nature and enjoying the simple things in life.
Stay stoked and happy reading!
The Oyster Revolution
Brent Petkau is igniting a culinary revolution that seeks to reconnect people with where their food is coming from, live with intention and most of all, enjoy a perfect oyster.
On a trip aboard Sea Shepherd’s vessel Steve Irwin, Alana Tompson recounts her 4 month trip to Antartica, where she documented the 10th Antarctica anti-whaling campaign.
With Whatever I Could Fit On A Bicycle
Alex Gandy has cycled thousands of kilometres across Asia, photographing his close encounters with people and places that are unique to the nature of traveling by bicycle.
The Lynch Pins
James Hathaway picks the brains of iconic surfboard shaper Wayne Lynch and his son, Jarrah, who share their views on earning your stripes in the line up and the current state of the surf industry.
Creating large scale works of art made entirely from debris found on the beaches along the Oregon coastline, the Washed Ashore projects seeks to raise awareness on the very real and shocking global issue of pollution.
Science Under Sail
Dr. Robin Smith combines his love of sailing, science and coral reefs with Science Under Sail, an education program where adventure and academia blend to create an off-grid learning experience of a lifetime.
After 6 months traveling around BC in a bus powered by vegie oil, these guys encountered and learnt a great deal about Canada’s resource extraction practices and the impact these are having on communities directly affected.
Walk The Plank
Sourcing reclaimed and responsibly-sourced new materials, Walk The Plank aims to not only crafts environmentally conscious pieces that are designed to last a lifetime, but to change the way we perceive product made in Indonesia.
Recipe For Change
Using the analogy of bread making, Marc Coppola combines 4 ingredients that he believes to be the recipe for a better, more sustainable future we should be striving to work towards.
Cover Art by Kozyndan
Background Photograph by Forest Woodward
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