Centre professor's book describes fulfillment through a simpler "greener" life
RELEASED: May 14, 2009
"Personally, I do plenty of things wrong and some things right," Anderson says in the "ground rules" preceding the book. "I cherish information on how to do things better, but have no delusions that I do things best or that I'm doing all that I can."
"I am not preaching conservationism; I'm trying to show how it actually makes people happier than buying and using too much stuff," Anderson says.
Anderson's argument is that the accumulation of more material goods doesn't produce happiness. Instead, it simply generates the desire for more things. Throughout his book, he offers suggestions on how people can cut back, either through their consumption practices or waste management.
In the first chapter of "Treading Lightly," Anderson writes, "My mother irrigates the garden with rinse water from the washing machine. She makes rugs out of old panythose. As the recipient of a holiday card, she cuts off the artwork to send as a postcard. And she is one of the happiest people I know." Anderson's parents are also featured authors in a couple chapters of the book.
Not wanting to alienate a younger audience, Anderson offers several other suggestions that a younger generation could more easily embrace. They include mowing the lawn with a non-motorized push mower; giving second-hand, homemade or non-material gifts; and instead of buying books and movie tickets for entertainment, simply checking books and movies out from the public library.
Dr. Eric Mount, retired Centre professor of religion, perhaps sums up Anderson's work best, "Rather than espousing a new legalism or a smug self-righteousness, the authors encourage the discovery of a better way to live than our culture promotes."
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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