Americans find simplicity complicated. According to a recent survey conducted for the Merck Family Fund, a foundation that promotes environmental sustainability, the majority of people questioned said they want to simplify their lives, spend more time with loved ones and consume less. But they have found it's easier said than done. Although 88 percent agreed that "protecting the environment will require most of us to make major changes in the way we live," only 18 percent were willing to spend less time working if that meant making less money. Given the conflict between environmental concerns and the American values of personal and economic freedom, researchers concluded, the challenge is to find ways "to create a public conversation around the issues of consumption, materialism and the environment that can lead to real change." For a copy of the 26-page report Yearning For Balance, contact the Merck Family Fund, 6930 Carroll Ave., Suite 500, Takoma Park, MD 20912 (301/270-2970).
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