{ live more FULLY with LESS }

I Tivo Oprah everyday and then when I have time I watch ones that are of interest to ME. I watched yesterdays episode last night after Sam was in bed. It was about shifting habits at home to waste less (to waste less energy, to waste less food, to waste less time on things that don't matter, etc.) and by doing that not only not waste money but gain back family time.

One of the families that participated in Oprah's experiment said, "I realized that we waste way too much time and money on unnecessary things," Kriss says. "I would just like to go back to basics, and maybe we will all learn how to talk again." Her 5 year old son was playing up to 5 hours a day on his video game! Her daughter had her TV on in her bedroom all the time. They weren't spending anytime together. Their honest approach to this process was refreshing in that they candidly admitted these things on national television. So Oprah gave them a challenge of no video or computer games for a week; only one hour of television a day per family, no eating out, no buying anything new, except food. They did great. After 3 days of their son going through immense withdrawl and being angry about not being able to play his video games, they found that the kids were playing together, reading together, drawing, playing together. Family time after dinner, instead of watching TV, was centered around going for bike rides, playing games together or just TALKING. After a week of this "experiment" and continuing on with many of the things to date, Kriss, says that she "gained her family back."

Want to try this experiment with your own family and take Oprah's Live with Less challenge, click here.

Here's where we are at with the things in this challenge:
We already use our Sigg Water Bottles. Remember to bring on road trips so we don't have to buy plastic water bottles at gas stations. Delight.com has some cute ones.
Turn down the thermostats to 69 degrees. done.
Got back out the clothes drying rack. Try to avoid using the dryer as much.
Aim for 5-8 minute showers - need to put a kitchen timer in the bathroom because I think we all go over that sometimes.
Turn off the lights, unplug the stuff we don't use. We replaced all of our lightbulbs with energy efficient ones, but that doesn't mean we get to leave them on when we leave a room! Be better about this!
I know for one, we are going to try to stick to the 1 hour of TV a day that we allow Sam (and one movie on the weekend). There are days she watches more than that. We've got to stop using the TV as a babysitter when we get busy. Now Will & I just need to follow this rule too (I wonder where the news (dreadful as it is to watch these days and NetFlix movies need to fall into this spectrum? lol). Maybe pick one show a night and save the movies for the weekends? I wish I had the gumption to just get rid of the TV all together. Maybe get rid of cable?
Now that spring has finally arrived here in Colorado and it is lighter out later, we've been either taking a family walk or hike or going to swim at the rec center after dinner each night.
I have been good about meal planning so I am only going to the store once a week and trying to use what I already might have in the freezer or pantry when making meals, but admit I am not good about eating leftovers (thank goodness Will will eat anything).
Reduce garbage - increase recycling. I really need to buy a composter for the kitchen - a cute one.
I am continuing to work on not bringing things into this house we don't NEED and getting rid of stuff we don't use. DE-CLUTTERING. My new favorite thing to do. I have 3 boxes in the laundry room at all times - one to give to friends (Sam's clothes, my clothes that I know will fit a friend and they will like, etc); one to donate to goodwill and one to sell on Ebay. I listed stuff on ebay last week that was just sitting in my closet untouched and made $600 (that pays for our hotel room & disneyland tickets!) It didn't take more than 2 hrs total to list & ship those items. I encourage you all to go through your closets this weekend - give away clothes that you or your kids no longer wear, list unique or in good condition items on ebay (my rule of thumb is that if I can't get $20 at least from an item it isn't worth my time to list it, thus it goes in the to donate pile).
They say it takes 30 days to create a habit, I imagine it takes at least 30 days to break bad habits at home. This weekend is a great time to sit down with the family and start the challenge. Let me know how YOU & your family are doing on this challenge and see if you can extend it past the 7 days.


Lisa said...

I totally love this idea and am going to join in on the challenge!! These are all things I have been trying to implement for awhile, but old habits really do die hard.

Kat - Taylor Made designs said...

this is a great idea!
We have been using those lightbulbs now for a year and you really do see a difference in the bills - and just yesterday... I actually hung out some laundry to air dry. Going back to basics is pretty hip now :)

Jessica said...

Great tips...I have really been trying to focus on "waste not, want not" lately.

Anonymous said...

darn it ! I really want to watch that episode but was driving all afternoon between three different sports practices!

We are IN ! thanks so much for reminding me and motivating me.

I just got done swimming and was going to treat myself to Starbucks but realized I didn't have my debit card...so instead made one at home. So, I just saved $3.71!