Young couple finds freedom in simple living

Smith and Strober

Smith and Strobel maintain a blog at

Peak oil isn’t all about Saudi Arabia depletion curves and what’s for lunch at the annual ASPO conference. In fact, may folks still don’t know much about peak oil. I didn’t know about it until recently.

My casual online search for ideas about how to simplify my home led me, via Peak Moment, to so much more than I could ever have imagined. I found an episode about a couple who were simplifying, which was my introduction to Peak Moment, and also to the issue of peak oil.

More than 200 episodes later, my life has changed focus in so many ways, which is similar to Janaia Donaldson’s guests on this episode, Logan Smith and Tammy Strobel, a 30-something couple whose lives took a dramatic u-turn.

You tell two friends

Smith and Strobel discovered Peak Moment and realized there were real people and vibrant communities talking about the potentially frightening challenges to come with resource depletion. They were encouraged that folks were facing these challenges with a positive slant, and actively taking actions, from downscaling to DIY living, that would help build a better future. The positive approach is encouraging to Strobel who says,

What we have done to the planet is a tragic thing- but there are so many good things happening, too.

We can do that!

Smith and Strobel made a decision to change their lives, to downsize, and to not be driven like Pavlov’s dog by the advertising-fueled, commercialized society in which we live.

“Sell your TV,” they suggest, calling it one of the best things they ever did. By refusing to engage with the marketing messages targeted to you, you can lessen your impact on the earth. This simple step, they say, can help you become less reliant on a high energy lifestyle and all of the fallout that ensues.

They also suggest you sell your car, and Smith explains why.

We don’t need oil but we depend on oil.  There’s a unique difference between those two. We can live without oil. We need water, we need food, we need sleep, we need companionship. However, when you look at the hierarchy of needs, oil isn’t among them. It’s a dependence.

Strobel’s hopes for the future are “that we can relocalize, have better land-use policies and that we can share more and be a community, versus always focusing on the individual, and always having to do things by yourself.” Her sentiments, to which many of us can relate, are an essential part of facing the coming challenges with resilience.

Less is the new more

Smith and Strobel were $30,000 in debt, had two cars and were living above their means. Within two and a half years things had changed dramatically. They eliminated their debt, saved a substantial amount of money, and found a better, simpler way to live.  They say it’s a lifestyle they feel privileged to lead and in which they find themselves happier, healthier and more in touch with their community.

How did they do it?  Watch the Peak Moment TV episode to find out.

–Anthea Hudson, Transition Voice

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  1. says

    Hi Anthea!

    Great article. Thanks for sharing our story! We wish you success in finding that new focus you discussed above. :) As a heads up Tammy’s last name is misspelled, it should be “Strobel”. Cheers and good luck in your making your transition voice heard. :^)

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