Friday, April 25, 2008

International Downshifting Week 2008

Well I had very good intentions to write a daily diary for International Downshifting Week like I did last year, but Earth Day really takes up a lot of the attention in the US, and Downshifting Week at this time of year takes a back seat, unfortunately. It's been really dizzying this year to see how the environmental movement has taken off...the mainstream media has taken up the cause and more people are aware of how their daily decisions are affecting the environment. Just take a look at the growth of farmer's markets and CSAs, the plethora of environmentally focused web sites and blogs (giving us more opportunities to spread the Conscious Consuming message!), and the jump into eco-products by HUGE corporations like Wal-Mart and Target. It's not the same scene it was a year ago, that's for sure.

Environmental consciousness is a welcome thing, and I'm not complaining about its growth. However, I think that one of the things that sets Conscious Consuming and International Downshifting Week apart is the focus on Slowing Down to Green Up. Voluntary simplicity is by its nature very environmental. The less work we do, the less money we have, the less stuff we buy, the more time we have to do the things that really make life worth living. Downshifting allows us to have more time to spend with friends and family; more time to grow some of our own food, cook meals from scratch, enjoy those meals sitting down at the table, volunteer in our communities, follow our passions and follies. Whether you've been actively engaged in Downshifting Week or not, check out Tracey Smith's website to find Downshifting Tips for Success!

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