According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Amish are a North American Christian religious group, started by Jakob Ammann in the 17th century. It’s a fact that the Amish people prefer sticking to tradition and practicing a more simple way of life, devoid of technology and interference from the outside world. The Amish reject the notion of owning any motor vehicles and instead embrace more traditional means of transport. In this article, we will explore how transport and logistics play a role in the lives of the Amish and what it can teach us about sustainability and a more ‘simple’ approach to life.
Take a stroll
For short trips, many Amish people love to walk. Within the Amish community, people live near one another, and because the use of phones is prohibited, walking to and from one another’s dwelling is commonplace. Instead of using your car to get from A to B, perhaps embracing the Amish way of walking short distances is something more of us could consider on a daily basis. Not only is it good for the environment, but also, it’s also good for your health.
Believe it or not, some Amish communities embrace bicycles, and others reject them, believing they are too ‘worldly’ and disrupt the community. For the Amish communities that do embrace the bicycle, they certainly come in handy for pleasure, trips to the shops, and family visits. Just like taking a stroll, riding a bike is a sustainable mode of transport that doesn’t negatively impact the environment.
Horse and Buggy
The Amish community is well known for its use of the traditional horse and buggy. The Amish are of the belief that using a horse and buggy slows down the speed of life, preserves community values, and acts to maintain a good distance from the modern world. Above all, the horse and buggy are hugely symbolic and conveys the Amish message of ‘less is more.’ The horse and buggy allow for long-distance travel for the Amish people and once again have little environmental impact compared to how most modern families operate.
In the Amish community, technology is thought of as an unnecessary evil. Transport management systems, AI and robotics, aren’t a consideration, even though many of us, outside the Amish community, rely on these systems every day. The question is, what can the Amish teach us? As simple as the Amish way of life may seem, the one incredible thing is that this particular group is far more sustainable than the rest of us. The Amish are willing to sacrifice all the so-called ‘mod cons’ for simplicity, sustainability, and tradition. As much as I love a good an Uber lift and a DHL delivery, sometimes it’s good to have a break from our fast-paced, modern world, where most people are addicted to their cell phones. Perhaps a few more bike rides, family walks, and buggy trips would make the world a better, more sustainable place.