Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Days 365+

Last August I was going to a prayer service and the “price of admission” was to bring some school supplies for children attending inner city schools. See Purging for a Cause #1  It was an easy and painless way to clear extra filler paper, markers, glue, and folders from our home. Tomorrow I’m going to a […]

Before I reveal what “BVG” means, I’d like to share a letter to my grandchild. See if you can guess the BVG. Dear grandchild, Once upon a time, a long time ago, BVG, you may wonder what families did for fun. In my own family we played GAMES. Lots of them were board games. We […]

There are several layers to Recycling Christmas:I’ll start with the traditional religious and gift-giving concepts and the go on to those that fit the more classic ecology dimensions. 1.The SUPER-SPIRITUAL: This approach goes back to the basics and reminds us that Christmas is about the Christ coming into the world as a human being. It […]

My last post on giving away socks was easy peasy. This one took some homework and research. We’re all familiar with the environmental slogan, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” This is good; but I sometimes rant about how folks often jump to the Recycle part and overlook the more substantive Reduce/Reuse aspect. After all, we wouldn’t have […]

Sometimes life gets busy. A relative dies. Emergencies come up…and this blog is overdue. That’s when it’s nice when an opportunity falls into one’s lap. That’s what happened today during my walk. I saw a sign at a neighbor’s house soliciting coats, sweaters, socks etc. for homeless people in the community. It’s getting cold. I […]

If politics, hatred, suffering, and the sorry state of the world is cluttering your mind – welcome to the club. It’s easy to become depressed and want to return hate with hate. But that doesn’t solve anything. On my last blog post, Let Go of Trivial Judgments, I promised to move beyond trivial judgments to […]

About 6 months ago I focused on trying to be kinder for Lent. One dimension of this was to be less judgmental of other people. By the end of Lent I realized that it’s harder to actually change my internal critical self than to give things away. Today, over half a year later, I’m noticing […]

I’m a speaker and a writer. That means I care about words. I suppose we all do. I recently attended an international meeting that heightened my awareness of how we use words. Because the meeting included people from 23 countries that covered 5 continents we spoke many different languages and had simultaneous translations into 4 […]

Sometimes you’re in a hurry. Sometimes you’re behind. Sometimes you just don’t want to take the time to figure out where to take your extra stuff. That was me last week. I was being good. I was going to a prayer service. BUT they asked folks to bring some school supplies as a goodwill offering […]

I feel too busy. That seems to be my mantra lately. Maybe it’s yours too. I thought my Taming Time blog post would help me declutter my calendar and life. It did help, but I want more. I’m finding that I’m being led into a deeper dimension of time. Lately I’ve realized that some of […]

Now that we have our solar panels installed, I thought I would be so happy. I am, but the feeling is fleeting. The same thing happened after we got replacement windows, or even when I get a book from Amazon, or the perfect all purpose travel blazer. But it’s not just about stuff. Often I […]

Yea! A couple days ago our new solar panels were activated. This is probably the opposite of my recent Keep it Simple post, because it wasn’t a simple or cheap endeavor, but it was worth it. Over a year ago we started thinking about getting solar panels for our roof. We contacted an installer, got […]

In the spirit of end of the year lists, I’ve picked a dozen favorite snippets from my 2017 blog posts. This was like picking a favorite child but in my ongoing effort to save you all reading time, I forced myself to whittle my original 18 down to 12. Click on the links to get […]

Plastic items are light, easily cleaned, and often cheaper than cloth, wood, metal, or brick. Maybe the three pigs should have built their homes out of plastic. But, of course most plastics do not biodegrade easily or quickly which make them anathema to environmentalists like me. They can, however, be recycled. Conscientious citizens already know […]

I’m in a time warp. Easter was over 2 weeks ago but I’m still finishing up my Lenten resolve to prune my file cabinets. By Easter I had pruned 2 drawers of my first cabinet. (See here ) Once started, I was motivated to keep going. I have now finished the final 2 drawers of […]

My last blog entry was on the pros & cons of online shopping and how it can save time but create unnecessary waste. Here’s another conundrum for you – When does doing a small good take so much time that it’s not worth it? The culprit: a broken mixer blade The solution: Buy a replacement blade. […]

Christmas has come and gone. That means that we have gratefully received some nice gifts – often clothes. This also means that a natural consequence is the timeliness of giving away older things that are no longer needed or wanted. This is not bad, but it’s also not sacrificial giving. As I looked over the […]

December 26 is celebrated as “Boxing Day”  in some countries. The name comes from the tradition that on the day after Christmas well-to-do families would give a box of money or presents to their servants or customers. I remembered this as I was cleaning up after Christmas and was struck by the extraordinary number of cardboard […]

I recently ran a little contest among colleagues to find out how folks commonly or creatively tackled the environmental trio of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Out of 222 responses I was especially impressed with the clever, albeit human energy intensive, submission of Therese Brennan. She saves the used shampoo bottle, buys the same kind again, then pours ½ […]

I like to think of myself as a pretty decent recycler. I put paper, bottles, cans, and appropriate plastics out for curbside recycling. I decline plastic bags at stores and use my cloth bags instead. I take a reusable water bottle to meetings. I take #5 recyclables to Whole Foods. I compost. I even collect […]