Jim Merkel is the author of The Global Living Handbook (2000), Radical Simplicity (2003), and Simplicidad Radical (2005). Previously, Merkel was an engineer and moved from involvement in the military industry to pioneering in sustainability. Jim currently writes, lectures and consults with campuses and municipalities on sustainability initiatives. He initiated the "Cycling for a Sustainable Future" speaking tour that has logged over 17,000 miles delivering lectures and workshops at over 40 colleges and universities. Merkel has led over 1,000 workshops and has lectured at dozens of universities on personal and institutional sustainability. Jim is a homesteader, bike commuter and thrift store patron.