The Sims 4 screenshot of the effects of pollution

[Update #2]: The base version of The Sims 4 is now entirely free-to-play on both PC and consoles.

[Update]: The Sims 4 is adding The Sims 3 inspired story progression for neighborhood Sims.

If you're looking for a way to shake up your Sims 4 experience, you might want to check out the newly added Eco Lifestyle expansion. It brings with it the ability to become completely self-sufficient by installing solar plans, putting up dew collectors, recycling useless items, creating your very own tools and materials, and even rummaging through trash in order to find usable bits and bobs.

Eco Lifestyle has also included a new neighborhood voting board that lets the inhabitants decide which major changes to implement, as well as a variety of new furniture and items to toy around with. Needless to say, quite a few of them are either second-hand or made out of repurposed materials, so expect the items to look rather unique.

Besides simply trying out the new stuff, using green technology and recycling as much waste as possible is a good idea as it will have a positive impact on the environment. Conversely, treating your lot as a dumping ground will eventually result in the skies becoming thick with smog, the rivers polluted, and the entire neighborhood slowly but surely becoming dirtier and dirtier.

Rather than babble on, allow me to share with you two of the recent trailers. They should give you a pretty good idea of what all of this looks like in actual gameplay. Have a look:

You can learn more about the Eco Lifestyle pack, as well as keep an eye on any future expansions, over at the official website. Have fun!