The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living

Image of The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living
Release Date: 
June 4, 2013
Storey Publishing, LLC
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“. . . a how-to guide for anyone ready to give back to the Earth more than he or she takes.”

Straight from the heart, Ms. Tremayne writes in a style that allows the reader to consider a similar experiment to her Good Life Lab, an experiment in living simply.

Whether you are thinking of scaling back from an expensive lifestyle or saying goodbye to a corporate job and heading toward a green lifestyle, her book will have you ready to make at least a small change.

Ms. Tremayne describes living with less as moving away from the default life so many of us live without asking “Why?” What compromises are we making by living a life in which work is necessary to pay for our costly consumption of material goods? Are we contributing to the “waste stream” and working hard to pay for what we later dispose of?

Starting a new life free of marketing hype and material goods, Ms. Tremayne and her partner Mr. Mikey Sklar left New York and settled in New Mexico.

At first she felt “as useless as a sapphire cocktail ring” in the desert. Yet she quickly realized exactly why she went there: “To find the edge, the point at which my knowledge ends.” Before long, her sustainable free life was a reality. Mr. Sklar, a former computer programmer, soon found himself fully productive using his talents to build, make, and invent gadgets and technology to sustain them and to help others.

Living off the grid, making food, medicine, and household goods from found objects can be accomplished. The price this couple paid was sweat equity, but the work came with great rewards. Sustainability comes as we learn this: “When creating new goods, create things that solve problems. Then share what you have made.” The authors do this using open-source plans which they then make available by licensing through

Ms. Tremayne notes that everyone lives in two worlds: modern civilization and nature. People can choose to be driven by the consumption economy or by an abundant creative life. The Good Life Lab is a how-to guide for anyone ready to give back to the Earth more than he or she takes. In a world where everything is for sale, this book is a refreshing reminder that we can take a giant step backwards . . . into nature.

Feeling inspired? If you’re seeking a life with less, The Good Life Lab’s generous resource section will help you get started. Big steps or small, a move toward less consumption of material goods can’t be a bad thing for our world.