Jim Merkel

Hartwick Welcomes Merkel for Talk on ‘Radical Simplicity’

April 6, 2011

On Thursday, April 14, Hartwick College will welcome environmental author Jim Merkel, who will present a talk titled "Radical Simplicity--Living Well in the Next Ecological Bubble." The talk will be held at 7 p.m. in Anderson Theatre in the Anderson Center for the Arts on the Hartwick College campus. This event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Merkel's lecture will outline steps toward living with a lighter ecological footprint. Merkel says, "Now that we have witnessed strings of economic bubbles burst, leaving behind unemployed workers, depleted ecosystems, war-torn families and terrain, climate change, toxic aquatic systems, and stressed-out individuals, many people have begun building a sustainable way of living.

"From rooftop gardens to root cellars, organic markets to locavore potlucks, solar power to utility-shaving strategies, low-cost fun to low-waste campuses, the changes are underway in real lives," Merkel continues. "Government and big business have no better plan than to urge Americans to continue consuming beyond personal and planetary means to save 'the economy.'"

Merkel suggests a new 'ecological' bubble will be based upon ethical relationships with humanity, nature, and future generations. 

On Friday, April 15, Merkel will lead a roundtable discussion titled "Your Money or Your Life," based on the book by the same name by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. The roundtable will examine strategies for charting a path toward a more fulfilling existence. Merkel posits that by following a practical program, which he will outline, it is possible to obtain more financial freedom, live a more meaningful life, and contribute toward healing the planet.

The roundtable will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, on the second floor of Bresee Hall on the Hartwick College campus. A light lunch will be served. The roundtable is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Jim Merkel is an American author, volunteer, and engineer who moved from involvement in the military industry to pioneering in simplicity. His book Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth offers a path to a deeply sustainable way of living respectful of all life. Merkel's work helped Dartmouth College earn high grades on the Sustainability Report Card issued by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Merkel founded the Global Living Project and currently co-directs the Newforest Institute in Brooks, Maine. He writes, lectures, and consults with campuses and municipalities on sustainability initiatives.

This event is sponsored by the 2010-11 Consumption campus theme at Hartwick College.

For more information, contact Dan Morse, Coordinator of Sustainability Programs for the Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies, at or 607-431-4666.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030