Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska

Many of you know that I live a disconnected life in some respects. We do not have cable or satellite service, for a long time we had no land line for phone service (I needed to add this for business purposes, otherwise we still wouldn't!), and I refuse to indulge my children with cell phones, personal TV's or computers, and such. (Mind you that my mother and sister drive me nuts with the cell phone thing, but I don't see the need.)

Since we only receive local channels through our antenna reception we've gotten to know our statewide public television station fairly well. What a joy! I never knew what I was missing. So many of the shows pertain to our state, it's history and things to do. They also have other informative shows. This is where I found Wanda Urbanska.

If you haven't heard that name before I wouldn't be surprised. She has a 30 minute program entitled "Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska" and is author of several books on simplifying your life. (I can't give you a link to that page of her website because my security system says that there is a Trojan lurking there... please be careful when visiting her site. I'm sure they have no knowledge of this.)

Ms. Urbanska lives in NC with her husband and son. She strives to live a more simplistic and naturalistic life, while staying mainstream. Over the years I've found many tips and ideas on her shows that I've implemented into my life. I encourage you to discover more on this subject.

Recently, I was invited to attend a meeting at a local church where she was to speak. I couldn't have been more excited! I've admired her show for several years and to hear her speak in person was to be a true treat. can I say this? I was mildly disappointed. Ms. Urbanska gave a PowerPoint presentation and brief talk of about 45 minutes. Her thought patterns lend to rambling tendencies and often she would get off subject and never return back.

She offered a question and answer session. Receiving only one question and answering it poorly, I'm glad it was only one. I'm hoping that she was having an off night, otherwise, I'd definitely stick to watching her show instead of the seminar setups.

What was the question?

"What can I do to reduce and make an impact at home without changing my entire lifestyle?"

My suggestions:

Begin with baby steps. If you attempt to completely change your lifestyle at once you'll often become frustrated and give up before achieving anything.

  1. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, conditioning your hair, and shaving your legs.

  2. Only wash clothes when you have a full load, or be sure to change your "water level" setting accordingly.

  3. Recycle as much as possible. Set up a recycling station in your kitchen, basement, or garage. Have bins for paper, plastic, and metal. Condition yourself & family to setting these things aside and keep them out of the landfill.

  4. Start a compost bin. Keep a lidded plastic or metal container on your kitchen counter to collect coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, banana peels, & other non-bread/non-meat products. Transfer them into a larger compost bin or area in your yard to break down & use this as fertilizer for your plants!

  5. Combine trips in your car. Plan your route before leaving the house. If you have to go downtown - hit the bank, grocery store, and post office that is downtown, versus your "normal" ones. I refuse to journey anywhere for just one thing, unless it's a dire emergency. This drives my dear hubby nuts, but it saves an amazing amount of gas & wear and tear on my car, not to mention putting less pollution into the air.

  6. Use a washable water bottle. Fill it before you leave your home and at regular intervals during the day. Not only will you keep hundreds of plastic bottles out of the landfill, but you'll keep hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket over the year!

These are just a few to get you off to a good start. Experiment & see what works for you!


By the way - Wanda was an inspiration for me to journey further into my efforts at simplifying. I mean no harm in my comments, as I truly enjoy the show!


Splendid Little Stars said...

I heard that you can even compost dryer lint, so I'm trying it. Many people near me don't recycle because the local company charges.

Katherine at Go Green Graphics said...

Stumbled on to your blog looking up Wanda's name. I heard her on NPR and was "inspired." I need to start getting rid of all the clutter in my house, as a start. I also liked her idea about hanging things out to dry, but unfortunately I have a child with mild asthma and we have lots of pollen outside, so that isn't an option. Sorry her presentation was not great, but I will try to catch her show.