N is for Needs

Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at N… Needs.

This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.

N is for Needs

On this journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life we’ve talked a lot about reducing or eliminating things to simplify, delegating tasks and realising you have enough, but there’s another side to the journey as well… Making sure our needs are met.

We all have basic needs that should be met for any quality of life:

  • Food and water
  • Shelter
  • A safe environment
  • A supportive community
  • A basic level of education

When planning and working towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life we need to make sure that all these needs are met. Today I’m going to focus on the first two, as the others are addressed throughout the rest of the guide.

Food and water

I’m going to make an assumption here that most of us have access to food and water (I apologise if this is not the case). In that case, it’s more about the quality of the food and water that we have available to us. Focusing on healthy, locally grown (when possible) foods is a great way to have a more sustainable diet.

If I was up to it, I would grow as much of my own food as I can. Given my health, this isn’t practical so I grow what I can and purchase as local as possible otherwise.

I mainly drink water and tea, sometimes a juice or hot chocolate, and very occasionally a soft drink.

Our veggie garden last year
Our veggie garden last year


Again, making the assumption that we all have some form of shelter. We should be realistic about what we actually need. Getting a house (or apartment) that is the right size for us can reduce the time and resources needed to maintain our standard of living. This is one area where the concept of ‘Enough‘ is important.

2012-12-06 11.18.14

Are your basic needs met?