Living Lightly

Susan Vogt on living more simply but abundantly

Browsing Posts in Days 365+

Having just finished 4 blog posts on the limitations of recycling plastics plus one post reminding us to commit to reducing our possessions, Christmas 2020 arrived. It hasn’t been a pretty year with the pandemic, racial unrest, and polarizing political tensions. Yet, many of us at least have probably received some nice new Christmas presents. […]

Reducing SUPs (Single Use Plastics) is a laudable goal. Although some SUPs are necessary (for example medical use), reducing & recycling plastics are only partial and temporary solutions. Therefore, the classic environmental mantra – Reduce/Reuse/Recycle needs a “P” for PREVENTION. I have divided Prevention into two sub-categories – Substitutions and Stop the Production. To explore […]

In my last blog post (Plastics-Is It Worth It?) I suggested you watch the documentary, Plastic Wars. If you did your homework, you may now feel discouraged. Is recycling plastic worth it? Yes, BUT…the better solution is to reduce use of Single Use Plastics (aka SUPs) so there isn’t so much to recycle. Sure, plastics […]

Recycling plastic is good. It’s better than letting it pollute our air, water, land, wildlife, and scenery. But, is it worth it? I’ll have a lot more to say on this in upcoming blogs (Reducing Plastics #3 and Preventing Plastics #4). But for now, I’m wrestling with the question of how much recycling is worth […]

Plastics are convenient. They are light, durable, and often cheap. However, they are becoming toxic to the air we breathe, the water we drink, the animals we love, the soil that supports our food, and the beauty of natural landscapes and roads. I’ve recently become involved in a Pachamama Alliance action oriented environmental program. I […]

Last night was the first USA presidential debate of 2020 . No matter your political leaning, it was a sad night for our country – a lot of wind and little light. Today I need some hope – and perhaps you do too. So, I turned my attention to a new energy saving invention – […]

Covid-19 has caused much disruption and, pain, BUT one unintended consequence is that I’ve spent more time in my garden. At first I was too energetic and planted some pole bean seeds too early in March. Only one stem survived a late frost. I later planted more seeds and vegetables so we had a hearty […]

There are plenty of worries to weigh one down these days. In addition to the normal worries that most of us have to fret about (our kids, money, career, health, how to tame the internet etc.) 2020 has now layered the coronavirus, conflicts about race and police relationships, and the presidential election on top of […]

I’m tired. Tired of Covid-19, physical distancing, and not being able to do justice to the worthy Lenten projects I had committed to. I’ve been a “good girl.” I made masks for Jim and me. I complied with social distancing, but I wanted to do more direct service for those in need. It all came […]

When Lent began 7+ weeks ago, I had a 5 point plan to become “Just Kinder.” 1. Eat a vegetarian diet (Be Kind to the Environment) 2. Avoid single use plastics (Be Kind to the Environment) 3. Use more public transportation (Be Kind to the Environment + mix with people in need) 4. Interact more […]

So much has changed since Covid-19 has taken over the world. My Lenten commitments seem almost frivolous or irrelevant in the face of deaths, lay-offs, and closings, but here’s the skinny on them: 1. Eat a vegetarian diet – continues, but with more appreciation of grocery workers & farmers 2. Avoid single use plastics – […]

About 2 weeks ago the world started to change for me. With news of the coronavirus spreading, the cancellations started pouring in. First it was Cincinnati’s annual dance extravaganza, PigTown Fling, then the NCAA basketball tournament. These were sad but not life changing. Then meetings and talks I had scheduled started to be cancelled. Too […]

Now that ⅓ of Lent is over here are my successes, failures, and 4 lessons I’ve learned. My commitment was to do a daily act of kindness to another person, creation, or myself, i.e Just Kindness. I organized my actions into the following categories. Here’s what happened: Eat a vegetarian diet – This was successful […]

Life has been busy with little time to devote to serious possession pruning or recycling. My current volunteer priorities of environmental work and addressing the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church have been time consuming. Still, I’d like to share 6 more simple life tips before we plunge into Lent next week. Reduce Paper […]

Sometimes Living more Lightly is short and simple. Of course there are other times when it takes more time than I would like and feels complicated. This week I’ve had a little of both. Simple: Over the Christmas holidays we had a lot of guests. One of our guests treated us to a number of […]

It has been 10 years since I started my Living Lightly blog (Feb. 2010) and I’ve given you all a lot of words. In the spirit of decade reviews, I’m offering you a summary of highlights for those who might feel overwhelmed by looking at even my curated list of posts in the right column. […]

The joy of Christmas is too often accompanied by over-consumption of presents and plastics. Neither is good for the soul. Over the years I’ve written a number of blogs on simplifying Christmas. Click here to review some of them. This year I offer you Joshua Becker’s list of How to Restore Gift Giving Sanity. BUT, […]

As we approach the “giving” aka “buying” season of December, my mind turns to a pet peeve – excessive and deceptive Advertising.  For example: Specialized dog biscuits geared to cure your dog of halitosis. Really? I love dogs but this seems over the top. Toothpaste boxes that show a huge swirl of toothpaste overflowing the […]

My life has been busy lately. My guess is so has yours. Presumably we are both busy about important meaningful responsibilities. That makes searching for convenient, quicker ways to do things attractive. I get that and I’m a consumer of convenience – to a point. But then there is the dilemma that conscientious consumers face […]

What is kenosis and what does it have to do with living lightly? Theologically speaking kenosis is the act of self-emptying in order to become entirely receptive to God’s divine will. So, what’s this got to do with Living Lightly? I started down this path because my To Do list was getting too long and […]