Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference

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Are you discouraged when there are only a few minutes left for your family after a day of drudgery at the office? Have you experienced a sense of emptiness after the thrill of buying that new SUV, lawn tractor, or designer ensemble wore off? Are you concerned that your kids are being recruited to the worst excesses of popular culture at an even younger age than you were? Relax. That's just your better nature calling. Many people have the urge to be thoughtful stewards of time, money, resources, and the global ...
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Overview

Are you discouraged when there are only a few minutes left for your family after a day of drudgery at the office? Have you experienced a sense of emptiness after the thrill of buying that new SUV, lawn tractor, or designer ensemble wore off? Are you concerned that your kids are being recruited to the worst excesses of popular culture at an even younger age than you were? Relax. That's just your better nature calling. Many people have the urge to be thoughtful stewards of time, money, resources, and the global environment, yet they feel powerless against the tide of advertising and social pressure that's downing them. Or they believe that consumerism is so far advanced that their efforts to change the culture would be inconsequential. Is it too late to make a difference?

No, say Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering, who believe that it is not too late to take back our lives and our culture. In 1986, they left their high-powered careers in Los Angeles to move to a family orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where they found that a more meaningful, less frenetic life -- a simpler life -- was there for the asking. Indeed, they discovered that they were not alone; across our nation, millions of Americans have embarked on the quest for a more meaningful life. The guiding principle of that quest is this: Every positive change, no matter how modest, has an impact. In chapters covering time, money, work, the environment, child rearing, community life, health and food, and spiritual growth, the authors offer proven, practical advice on how to simplify and improve life. Not idle dreamers but the owners of a small business themselves, not armchair critics but doers and proud Americans who believe it's important to work within the system, Urbanska and Levering point the way toward a future in which community, family, and spiritual and environmental health can reclaim their rightful positions alongside money as the pillars of a sustainable life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Here's more thoughtful, if often familiar, advice from the authors of Simple Living. A companion to the PBS series Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska, scheduled for this summer and fall, the volume shares lessons culled from the authors' move from fast-paced Los Angeles to running a Virginia cherry orchard, and the experiences of friends and experts. They believe "lifestyle simplification invariably cycles back to stewardship of your time, your money, and the environment." Eight chapters include plenty of "nothing's-too-small" choices to challenge the "assumption that one person-and one action-can't make a difference." For example, a simple switch to cloth napkins or using a travel mug instead of a Styrofoam cup daily cuts down on waste. While the chapter on environmental impact offers new ideas, chapters on managing money, work situations and reaching out to the community are filled with the tried-and-true. Most valuable is the chapter on cultivating the values of simplicity in children. In a lovely section, the authors explain how they teach their son the value of a few carefully selected gifts over holiday excess. Urbanska and Levering certainly feel the small changes they recommend are crucial, for "if our personal choices make no sense for the one planet we all share, then that planet will no longer be a good home." (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780895872975
  • Publisher: Blair, John F. Publisher
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xv
Chapter 1 Time 3
Chapter 2 Money and You 17
Chapter 3 Love Your Work, Love Your Life 37
Chapter 4 Lightening Your Footprint 55
Chapter 5 Teach Your Children Well 77
Chapter 6 Building Community 107
Chapter 7 Good Health, Good Food 129
Chapter 8 Soul Work 155
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Positive Life Changes

    I have enjoyed Wanda's PBS television series "Simple Living" for several years. This book is a great addition to her show and her dedicated persuit to encourage us to live a simplified and more meaningful life based on very easy, one step at a time changes. It was very motivational and I enjoyed the not too "over the top" vision she has. A great gift, too.

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