Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Days 365+

Truism: It’s easier to prune someone else’s books than your own. How do I know this? My husband recently retired. For part of our professional careers we shared a job so we have many books and reference materials that have relevance to both of us. So… when Jim was clearing out his office of books […]

What do old medicines and trophies have in common? They both have a limited shelf life. I recently rediscovered stuff in both categories as I was cleaning for company. Since our house has 4 bedrooms and Jim and I only need one, we happily welcome guests. Of course during Covid most people weren’t visiting so […]

As I write this “Pruning Plastic” blog post it is July 23. One more week till the end of July’s Plastic Free Ecochallenge – an international effort to motivate people to reduce their use of Single Use Plastics (SUPs) by learning, documenting, and competing with folks around the world. Sure, it’s a game, but a […]

The recent release of the James Webb telescope photos prompted me to Ponder the Universe. For more background, click here. Sure, most of us can fathom our location in our own city, state, country, and even planet Earth with the help of a globe or international travel. We probably can remember the order of planets […]

Too many emails? Can’t keep up with social media? Don’t know which alerts are legitimate and which are just spam or phishing scams? Don’t know what “phishing” is? Besides just totally abandoning your computer or phone, how can a conscientious but time conscious person stay sane in this world of internet overload? These are important […]

Current Stressors in my Life: • Computer – Lately, I’ve been fighting with my computer. Aarrgh! I finally decided to buy a new desktop computer because my 10 year old main computer was acting sick and tired. Our son helped me decide on a new one and set it up. Good. But I didn’t realize […]

As Covid appears to possibly be retreating, I have recently returned from two trips (one by air to Singapore for our son’s wedding and one by car for a retreat and visiting friends and family along the way). These trips have prompted me to muse about the experience of traveling and what it continues to […]

As we approach Palm Sunday and Holy Week, I am aware of how unusual this Lent has been for me. Perhaps for you too. My usual basic Lenten practice is to give up sweets. This is not a significant sacrifice, but rather I consider it a daily background reminder of this season of transformation. When […]

Hmmm, my Prayer & Fasting during Lent are going OK, but the Almsgiving is eluding me. I had decided (rightly I think) that almsgiving should be broader than just giving money. I now define it as not only making donations to charitable causes but giving my whole self. Thus, choosing a way to serve others […]

Lent has started and I’m a week behind already. I’ve got 2 of the 3 Lenten basics covered, but it’s discouraging to be behind before I start. Prayer – In addition to my regular prayer time I’ve joined a contemplative prayer group at our parish. These twice-a-week online gatherings have been meaningful since they prompt […]

Curbside recycling is convenient and prevents many items from polluting our land, air, and water or languishing in landfills. The local Cincinnati area waste collection company (Rumpke) has recently added “to-go” cups to what can be put in curbside recycling. Good! BUT, what about items you no longer need but you want to find a […]

Although Christmas gifts (especially new electronics) can prompt recycling of older stuff, I continue to ask myself “How much is enough?” It’s nice to know I have an extra lamp if one breaks. How many blankets does a home need? How do you decide when to get rid of useful but extra stuff? Two recent […]

Christmas is almost upon us. Perhaps you will receive some new electronics (a phone, laptop, TV, game system, etc.) Yea! But leap ahead a week or so and this also brings up the question of what to do with your older, maybe broken or obsolete technology items. How do you recycle these responsibly? I did […]

Here we are in the middle of Advent (Nov. 28 – Dec. 24, 2021). I will repeat only once my tired rant about Christmas being Dec. 25 and Advent being the season of waiting and preparing, NOT celebrating and gift giving. Over the past decade I’ve written 20 posts related to how to manage this […]

I do clothes washing about once a week. Recently when I was folding my all-purpose black socks, I noticed that some needed mending. Even after that, I had more than I could ever wear from one wash day to the next (even adding on a couple extra grace days for delayed washing). Thus, I came […]

People may disagree about what is the right thing to do and whose opinion is correct. Some folks are just plain argumentative. Others may be of good will, but we just have different fundamental views on life or values. The temptation is to retreat into our “tribes” or “bubbles” where folks agree with me. It […]

I just completed a “Web Week from Hell.” I needed to migrate my Family Matters website and Living Lightly blog to a new host. Despite doing websites for about 20 years, I realized that I was still a “techno peasant” in understanding the technology behind how they worked. Tech support was very helpful and patient […]

BOTTOM LINE for those in a hurry: • The best bags are ones you already have. Reuse them. (I had accumulated about 15 reusable bags over the years, mostly as swag from conferences. If you want to know which are the least harmful to the environment and why, read on. • Refuse Single Use Plastic […]

I recently returned from a trip to Olympic National Park on the Pacific Ocean. I saw some big stuff like huge Douglas Fir trees and millions of small stones along the ocean. It was awe inspiring and a visual reminder of how we humans are a relatively small part of creation. And then I returned […]

As my frequent readers know, I’m all into saving money and time. But sometimes my super frugal, efficient self gets in the way of my higher values of being generous and loving others. For example: Saving $ – Sometimes we have to spend in order to save. We’ve had solar panels on our house since 2018. […]