Living More with Less

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“Like a cookbook for life.” That’s how author and activist Shane Claiborne describes Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition.

Written in 1980 by Doris Janzen Longacre, before living simply and “green” became trendy and popular, Living More with Less was a practical guide for living in simple, sustainable, and healthy ways—ways that keep the future of the planet, and the plight of poor people, in mind.

Thirty years later, Living More ...

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Living More with Less 30th Anniversary Edition

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“Like a cookbook for life.” That’s how author and activist Shane Claiborne describes Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition.

Written in 1980 by Doris Janzen Longacre, before living simply and “green” became trendy and popular, Living More with Less was a practical guide for living in simple, sustainable, and healthy ways—ways that keep the future of the planet, and the plight of poor people, in mind.

Thirty years later, Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition has been released as a way to celebrate and honor Longacre, who died of cancer in 1979 at the age of 39, before she could complete the original manuscript, and to keep her vision for simple and sustainable living alive today.

In addition to Doris’ original reflections on themes such as doing justice, learning from the world community, nurturing people, cherishing the natural order, and nonconforming freely, Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition contains new and updated essays, reflections, and practical tips in areas such as money, homekeeping, gardening, cooking, clothing, transportation, and technology.

With stories, reflections, and advice from people around the world, Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition is a vibrant collection of reflections and testimonies, old and new, of those who have discovered the joy of living with enough.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780836119305
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1980
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,362,589
  • Product dimensions: 5.47 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Doris Janzen Longacre grew up in Elbing, Kan., and Tucson, Ariz. She attended Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., and received her BA in home economics from Goshen (Indiana) College, Goshen in 1961. She also studied at Goshen Biblical Seminary and Kansas State University.

She taught home economics at Hesston Academy and College from 1961–63 and served along with her family in Mennonite Central Committee ssignments in Vietnam from 1964–67 and in Indonesia from 1971–72.

Doris was chairperson of the Akron Mennonite Church from 1973–76, member of the Board of Overseers of Goshen Biblical Seminary from 1976–79, and a frequent speaker and worship leader at church conferences in Canada and the United States.

In 1976 she compiled the More-with-Less Cookbook, which has become a household item for persons wanting to cook more responsibly in light of world food needs. Her next book, Living More with Less, was published in 1980, after her death, from cancer, in 1979. She was 39 years old.

Valerie Weaver-Zercher is a writer and editor in Mechanicsburg, Pa. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Orion, Sojourners, The Christian Century, Christianity Today, Publishers Weekly, and The Mennonite, among others. She is a contributing editor at Sojourners and a book reviewer for The Christian Century.

Weaver-Zercher’s writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and receives special mention in the 33rd Pushcart anthology, and she received a 2009 fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Weaver-Zercher does copyediting and editorial development for a variety of publishers. She has a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite University.

Weaver-Zercher was born in Shirati, Tanzania, where her parents worked with Eastern Mennonite Missions. She and her husband David and three children attend Slate Hill Mennonite Church. The Weaver-Zerchers spent a year working with Mennonite Central Committee in Hindman, Kentucky.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 18, 2012

    In 1980, before "sustainable living" and "green&q

    In 1980, before "sustainable living" and "green" became trendy buzz-words, Doris Janzen Longacre wrote Living More with Less as a practical guide for a simple and healthy lifestyle with the future of the planet and the plight of mankind in mind. It isn't a book written to make one feel guilty for having more than those in third-world countries, but rather helps the reader determine what responsible living can look like. When those of us who have much choose to live more simply and not waste the resources at our disposal, it can create a ripple effect that helps those who are in need. Whether it be how we obtain our food, what energy sources we use, or even how we dispose of trash, it all makes a difference.

    The book is divided into three sections: The Legacy of Living More with Less, The Life Standards, and Living Testimonies (essays from various authors about their own experiences of adopting a "more with less" lifestyle). It was this last section that was most interesting to me, addressing the topics of money and stewardship, homes and homekeeping; gardens, farms, and markets; cooking and eating, clothes and bodies, technology and media, churches, strengthening each other and organizing communities, among others.

    I enjoyed the section on homekeeping in which the author challenges the reader to consider what is most important - making a home pretty or making it functional according to the needs of the occupants. She doesn't suggest that pretty doesn't have a place but rather points out that if that is the starting place, then we end up at the mercy of the magazines instead of first asking who we are as a family and what is the purpose of each room. Then, the decorative choices can be made with sustainability, the environment, finances, and functionality in mind.

    I like this book for the perspective it gives without being preachy. The authors simply pose the questions we all need to consider and then, with some practical tips included, we can develop a plan for simpler living according to our own convictions, lifestyles, and resources. It will look different for each of us, and while I'm not willing to go to some of the extremes presented as examples in the book, it does serve as a springboard for thinking through the process.

    I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review requred.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013


    Good advice and good theology

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Sampe is Useless

    The first 50 pages of this sample are essays on the original. I've heard good things about this book, but I'd have preferred a sample of the actual book. Opting to try and get it from inter-library loan instead.

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