Now I’m not an Oprah watcher…but man, sometimes you jump halfway into one of her episodes while channel flipping and get sucked in. The other night, the theme was a “Live with Less” challenge, she had a challenge for families. Here’s the letter she sent to families willing to take on the challenge…
Thanks for agreeing to live with less for a week. Your challenge starts now!
This week, you will be eating at home every meal. No more eating out, no more takeout. And you have to eat your leftovers. If you throw food in the trash, you’ve got to ‘fess up.
For one week, you’re going to give up the bottled water habit. Get a water filter—time to get to know your tap.
No more disposable plates, cups, napkins or paper towels. Try cloth—you might like it!For entertainment, you’ll have to rely on each other.
For one week, I’m asking you to give up your iPods and video games, and your computers only get turned on for homework. TV is limited to one hour per night—one TV only.
That thermostat is going way down…to 69 degrees. If you get cold, put on a sweater.
Give your washing machine a break—try to wash only clothes that are TRULY dirty.
When you leave a room, lights out. Ditto for fans. When you’re done using an appliance, unplug it. Don’t forget your computer and cell phone chargers too.
Showers are going to be shorter—eight minutes max. Use a kitchen timer to help you keep track.
Want to go shopping? Head to your closets. That’s your wardrobe for the week. The mall is off-limits.Your final challenge—no buying anything other than food for seven days.
It was a really cool episode…and basically proved what I probably knew already. That, despite our complaints that we’re overburdened and don’t have enough time, if you cut out tv and internet distractions then you free up tons of time. I excitedly turned to Scott and said “let’s totally do this challenge.” And then 23 seconds later I said “well….maybe we could modify it a little.” Scott laughed. I’m just being realistic…I’m a tv addict. I love just having the sound in the background while I do things.
So, for the next two weeks (and hopefully, I can keep it going longer).
1. No tv, internet, or phone for two hours (4 to 6 pm). Let’s not go crazy, people, that’s going to be a huge struggle for me.
2. 8 minute showers. Oh my goodness, I love showers. I don’t know how long I usually take…I know I’m finished when there’s not a drop of hot water left.
3. Turning lights and fans off when I leave the room.
I tend to run the washer a lot but in, my defense, I have bad allergies and you have to wash things often to kill dust mites. And we just drink tap water that we fill up water bottles so that’s one easy. Um, we do use paper napkins, I would hate to use a towel…then you have to worry about ants. I’ll start with these three.
So yesterday, I turned the tv off at 4 pm. I think the tv went into shock since that never happens. Scott was taking his customary afternoon nap so I read some chapters out of Crazy Love…then finished another book “Bleachers” by John Grisham. Felt like forever and a day had passed. Looked up…it was 5 pm. Oh, sheesh.