Session 1

Awakening the Dreamer

Awakening the Dreamer is a worldwide initiative inspiring people to embrace an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence in their lives.  To facilitate this mindset, the group hosts workshops to help people realize their potential to be agents of change. To date, the initiative has reached over 60 countries.

The Story of Stuff

Launched by Annie Leonard in 2007, The Story of Stuff features movies, podcasts, tools, graphics, and other resources to help educate people on the impacts society’s current state of materialism is having on our lives, on our planet, and on others.

The High Price of Materialism

In this brief video, psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America’s culture of consumerism undermines our wellbeing. He stresses that when people buy into the messages of marketing that “the good life” is “the goods life,” they not only use up the planet’s limited resources, but they are also less happy and less inclined toward helping others.

Session 2

Low Impact Living 

Low Impact Living offers you tools to calculate your current impact on the planet and steps you can take to reduce your footprint. It details projects, products, and services that promote a low-impact lifestyle and also contains resources for finding these things in an area near you.

The Freecycle Network

Freecycle is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their towns. It’s all about reusing and keeping good stuff out of landfills. You can find a group in your area at their website. Membership is free.


ReadyMade is an online magazine that provides helpful DIY tips for food, home, garden and more. Its goal to help people simplify their lifestyle and have fun in the process.

Session 3

A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

This TED Talk by Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure – and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments.

Session 4

The Simplicity Forum 

The Simplicity Forum is a think tank of academics, authors, activists, artists, educators, and entrepreneurs who seek to inspire simplicity in our work and practice it in our lives.

The Happiness Initiative

The Happiness Initiative provides resources on the aspects of our lives that are most important in determining our overall sense of wellbeing and purpose. The website includes a survey you can take that covers the different components that can make us happy, such as work, family, friends, physical health, living situation, etc. The site also has information on where you can find happiness initiatives in your area.

Simple Living Forums

Simple Living Forums provides people with a place to share tips on simpler living, as well as discuss some of the challenges that one might face when choosing to welcome voluntary simplicity into their lives.

Session 5

Urban Homestead

Urban Homestead chronicles the experiences of the Dervaes family in establishing a permaculture homestead on their urban lot in Pasadena, California. The website also provides useful tips and information that can help others get started on similar projects.

The Green Guide

The Green Guide is an interactive online tool that includes quizzes and buying guides that can assist you with sustainable choices for food, travel, and home living.

Center for a New American Dream

The Center for a New American Dream is committed to helping Americans simplify their lives and reduce their consumption. The primary goal of the organization is to promote a positive change in the size of the American ecological footprint by protecting the environment, enhancing quality of life, and promoting social justice.