The Work/Life Balance: Don’t Have a Rubbish One (and some seriously sneaky peeks at what’s coming next…)

Tracey Smith, author of The Book of Rubbish Ideas and The Great British DownshiftSeasons Greetings to all,

It’s Christmas Eve and following a short trip to London, I’m now home in the bosom of my lovely family and preparing for a few days of non-work related fun!

For the past five months, with the kind assistance of dear Thomas, I’ve delivered a rubbish post-a-day to tantalise you, to tempt, to engage you with a bit of rubbish reduction and I’ve had some great evidence to show it’s worked.  But you can have too much a good thing you know 🙂 so I’m taking a firm grip of my work/life balance and signing off until the New Year to enjoy a break with the ones I love.

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Philosophies of a Downshifter: thinking about the ‘good life’

Downshift your time commitments and enjoy more 'life'
Downshift your time commitments and enjoy more 'life'

Earlier this year, I made a connection with a delightful gentleman by the name of David Frayne.

He was conducting research on one of my favourite subjects, downshifting, and I put him in touch with a few of my contacts.

Following on from my recent piece about the Menmuir family, I thought you might also be interested to read David’s very insightful conclusions from his study.

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My Top Ten Tips for Downshifting Success – Part 2 (Tips 6-10)

See yesterday’s post for Part 1

Image courtesy of The Green Pen
Image courtesy of The Green Pen

6. Cook a meal using seasonal, local ingredients, preferably organic

It’s so easy to get to the end of a hard week and say, ‘I’m having that take-away because I have worked hard and I deserve it’. The same motivations can also encourage you to buy ready-made, pre-packed options at the supermarket.

However, in a great many cases, it takes you as long if not longer to heat through these chemically enhanced, over-packed delights, as it does to cook something far more delicious from fresh.

You could save a fortune cooking simple recipes from scratch, using quality, raw ingredients and you don’t have to be a chef to put together a few basic, wholesome meals.

Soups can be really quick to prepare and consider using ‘normally’ shaped vegetables from local farm shops, not the perfectly shaped ones the supermarkets claim we ‘demand’.

Food miles are very important. If it’s been harvested locally, it’s probably fresher and more nutritious than something that has travelled half way around the world.

 

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My Top Ten Tips for Downshifting Success – Part 1 (Tips 1-5)

What do you do with your time?
What do you do with your time?

Some years back my family and I undertook a major downshift. 

It was truly life changing and it got me rooted on the road to simple, green living.

Consequently, I started an awareness campaign called National Downshifting Week (now InterNational) and I wrote a great many articles on the subject.

Recently, I’ve been plotting and planning events for the 2009 campaign and I’ve been re-reading some of my old pieces.  

I came across a great top ten tips list on ways to simplify your life and in these difficult times of credit crunch crisis, I think the information contained in it is more relevant than ever.

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Rubbish Interview – Debra Rawling: Case Study in The Book of Rubbish Ideas

The inspirational family Rawling
The inspirational family Rawling - Debra, Emily and Jeremy

It all started when we became friends with Tracey & Ray some years back. It was great to have found other people like us who had had enough of the “more-better-best” rat race and who wanted something else out of life. We met up and realised how much we had in common. Tracey & Ray were so much further along the path and we were just taking our first steps.

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Rubbish News: A Sign of ‘The Times’ Ahead

Fruit trees in the high streets
Might we have fruit trees lining our streets?

I was interviewed recently by esteemed journalist Laurel Ives on the subject of downshifting and the piece popped up today in the ‘Body and Soul’ section of ‘The Times‘.

The article was about another of my favourite subjects; downshifting. It’s entitled, ‘How to cope with life in overcrowded cities’ with the subtitle, ‘Daily life on our cramped little island is stressing us out, but there are plenty of ways to beat the crush’.

The story threw up some very interesting statistics that I immediately thought of in terms of the problems we face today with landfill sites and the ultimate disposal of our rubbish.

The article stated, ‘Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that population density in England is already almost double that of Germany and four times the figure for France. By 2056 our population will have grown from 60 million to 68 million – 1,349 people stuffed into every square mile.’

That’s quite some hike!

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