April 21-April 27 is National Downshifting Week, created by sustainable living writer and broadcaster Tracey Smith. What is downshifting (click here to see a video)? Downshifting is the process of slowing down the pace of modern life in order to live a more quality existence with our families. It is a path to simplicity. How can we slow down modern life? By going green and living sustainably, of course! As Treehugger describes, "It is a time to slow down and smell the flowers—a time to stop participating in a consumer society, to eat well, volunteer, live more simply and less wastefully. "
Tracey's family is behind her motivation (and mine) to downshift. She says, ""My children realise that if they want consumables it means that mum and dad have to work harder, which in their eyes equates to less playtime with mum and dad. That's what downshifting is. The less money you spend the less time you have to spend earning and the more time you have with the ones you love. " Tracey even makes recommendations for how children and schools can participate in Downshifting Week.
During this week, citizens in the UK and US are asked to "Slow Down and Green Up!" Here are a few tips from Tracey to help you downshift:
- Cut up a credit card
- Plant something in the garden you can cultivate and eat.
- Contact local food producers and re-think your vending machines at work.
- Book a half-day off work to spend with someone you love, no DIY allowed.
According to Tracey, “Learning to live within our means is key to downshifting and positively embracing living with less is better still. How can we have ‘quality time’ with great people, if we spend so much of it chasing the money? Money can’t buy you time."
Ready to downshift? Take the pledge: I hereby pledge to slow my life down a gear for the benefit of Tracey Smith, founder of Downshifting Weekmy health, my well being, my environment and for those around me whom I dearly love. Don't forget to read the Downshifting Manifesto, which includes mantras such as, "The more money you spend, the longer you need to work to pay for it."
Downshifting Week Blogroll:
- Grist Interactivist
- Great Lakes Bioneers
- Fit Sugar
- Eco Child's Play
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