This title might sound like it’s contradictory to the theme of this blog, but it’s actually a fun play on words. I have to thank Tom Hodgkinson for the title. It’s all about the fact that just “doing less” will help save the planet. We do so many things that require more and more energy, so indeed there is considerable merit in the concept of aiming to do less to save the planet.

I first cam in contact with Tom Hodgkinson several years ago when I read his book “How to be idle” (see It’s a good book and really opened my mind to the consideration that we don’t have to be doing things all the time and that there can be merit in simple idleness. That idea goes against everything we’re taught since we were about 6 or 7 years old and everything we see in the media, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It just might be that many things we’ve been taught and see in the media are wrong.

Idler Magazine

For the past few months I’ve been a subscriber to Idler Magazine (part of Idler Ltd that Tom Hodgkinson has setup). This is a fun publication that I enjoy reading. It’s published every two months and reminds me to keep thinking about the value of idleness and to stop glorifying being busy and doing things non-stop.

Along with the magazine, I get regular emails from Tom Hodgkinson and a few weeks ago I received one called “Do less to save the planet”. I read this email and I thought it was great. I would have loved to reproduce his whole email here are it fits so well with the theme of “Use 10 Percent Less”, however Tom will only allow me to reproduce 100 words maximum, so I’ll work with that.

do less to save the planet

Do less to save the planet

The most pertinent part of Tom’s email was;

“it is activity which causes pollution and depletes energy. If we all did a bit less – worked less, bought less stuff, tweeted less, uploaded less, travelled less – then it would logically follow that less CO2 would be produced and all the rest of it. My suggestion was the 20% solution – can we all do 20% less of whatever it is that we do which uses fossil fuels? That would seem to bring together the noble aims of leading a less frantic life and reducing emissions. A win win situation, surely?”

Copyright Idler Ltd.

This just clicks so much with the idea of “Use 10 Percent Less”. In so many ways, doing and using are similar. The more we “do” that requires some sort of technology behind it, the more we “use” and the more pollution and problems we create.

So it really would be good for us, in more ways than one, to “do” less. We’d create less pollution and we’d help ourselves find more peace (see Finding the Moment of Peace).

Some related and interesting articles from

Why doing nothing will save the planet

Essay: Bring on the Four Day Working Week