“Forget Going Green, Embrace the Brown Life”

“Forget Going Green, Embrace the Brown Life”


For decades we have been told that in order to save the planet, we must “go green.” But what if I told you that going green isn’t enough? What if the real path to sustainability lies not in green, but in brown?

That’s right – brown. Embracing the brown life means getting back to basics and living in harmony with nature. It means reducing consumption, utilizing natural materials, and supporting the local ecology.

In this article, I will explain the principles behind the brown life and why it could be the paradigm shift we need. Going green is admirable, but going brown is revolutionary. Read on to learn more!

Problems with the Green Movement

The green movement has brought increased awareness to environmental issues. However, it has some notable flaws:

Overreliance on Technology

  • The green movement often relies on advanced technology like electric cars and solar panels. But high-tech solutions have ecological costs too.

Still Promotes Consumerism

  • Green products allow people to feel good about consumption. But buying “green” is still consumerism.

Ignores Other Aspects of Sustainability

  • Green living often focuses narrowly on carbon footprint. A truly sustainable lifestyle is also ethical, spiritual, and community-oriented.

Introducing the Brown Lifestyle

The brown lifestyle addresses the limitations of green living. Here are its key principles:

Reduce Consumption

  • Living simply with fewer possessions is better than buying green products. Reject consumerism entirely.

Support Local Systems

  • Buy locally-produced goods and services to boost your community. Global supply chains are resource intensive.

Embrace Natural Materials

  • Synthetic and high-tech materials have impacts. Favor natural materials like wood, cotton, and bamboo.

Nurture Nature

  • Tend to the nature around you through gardening, foraging, and learning ecology. Connect spiritually to the earth.

Benefits of Going Brown

Embracing the brown lifestyle has many upsides:

Improved Health

  • Simple living and time in nature have proven mental and physical health benefits.

Greater Happiness

  • Studies show experiences make people happier than possessions.

Stronger Communities

  • Local systems foster meaningful connections between people.

Lighter Ecological Footprint

  • Consuming less and utilizing ecology allows sustainable living within planetary boundaries.

More Fulfilling Life Purpose

  • Connecting to nature provides a sense of meaning. It’s rewarding to learn skills for self-sufficiency.

Key Aspects of the Brown Life

Let’s look at some key areas where you can start going brown:


  • Eat local, seasonal foods. Grow your own produce at home or in a community garden. Forage wild edibles. Avoid packaging waste.


  • Walk, bike and use public transit instead of driving. If you need a car, go secondhand. Avoid flying when possible.


  • Live in a smaller, simple dwelling. Use natural materials for construction and decor. Install renewable energy like solar panels.


  • Purchase quality secondhand and thrifted clothes. Favor natural fabrics like wool, cotton, hemp. Avoid fast fashion.


  • Reject consumer gadgets and social media. Enjoy simple living tech like books and board games. Unplug and connect with nature.


  • Volunteer locally and get to know your neighbors. Support local businesses and artisans. Celebrate your region’s ecology.


The green movement has raised awareness about sustainability issues. But a lifestyle focused just on being green still promotes consumerism and separates us from nature.

The brown lifestyle gets back to basics. It’s about living simply, connecting to our ecology, and building community.

Let’s leave behind the eco-consumerism of green living. It’s time to go brown – and change our world for good.