I found the concept of progression of principles (or POP) in the book Moneyless Manifesto by Mark Boyle (you can read the book for free at his website). Living without money is a whole other (but extremely low impact!) thing that I won’t get into in this post but I might come back to in future posts.
The point of POP is that it is a road map from where we are today to living our highest ideals. It is a framework to organize the mainstream starting point (level 6), the steps in between and the optimum state (level 1) in a step by step fashion. The key is to make the steps realistic enough to be achievable but also challenging to promote change.
I thought that using a framework like this was very helpful because you can easily see which level you are presently on so that you can figure out how to get to the next level. Mark Boyle uses POP to map how to get to a stage where you don’t need money (level 1). I have done my own mapping of POP for living a Low Impact Life per category where level 6 is conventional living and level 1 is living completely off grid in the wilderness with little to no impact. The first part of the POP series is food.
I started at level 6 when I moved from home and was a student and couldn’t afford to buy organic food. When I got my job and some more money I moved to the next level and started to buy organic food as much as I could. Now with our plan of building a homestead (you can read more about it here) we have progressed to level 4 and started to learn how to grow our own food and forage. We are aiming for level 2/3 not level 1 since our plan is to live on a homestead. Until we get a house with land we will continue to work on level 4 to get better at growing our own food at a small scale and learn about plants to start foraging more.
I will be sharing the other areas that I have drawn up the POP with you over the next couple of weeks. This series will show my map to living a Low Impact Life but I encourage you to map out your own path since what path you take is highly individual. If you have different goals than living on a homestead (which I am assuming most people have) maybe your level 1 for food is buying organic most of the time or trying to go towards zero waste and minimizing packaging or just becoming self sufficient on salad grown in your apartment. There is no right or wrong way to living a Low Impact Life you just have to define it for yourself and the POP model sets up a framework for that.