Its National Downshifting Week!

In all of the excitement and drama of Earth Day, we completely forgot that today is the start of the second annual National Downshifting Week in the UK. Founder Tracey Smith says in the Guardian: "Many people want to pull away from the throwaway, takeaway society we have found ourselves in," she says. "I would love a glass of champagne as much as the next person, but I don't need it." For Tracey and her husband, downshifting is about their children. "My children realise that if they want consumables it means that mum and dad have to work harder, which in their eyes equates to less playtime with mum and dad," she says. "That's what downshifting is. The less money you spend the less time you have to spend earning and the more time you have with the ones you love." They offer a free downloadable Downshifting Planner and the downloadable guide "Slow Down and Green up" It is all very much in keeping with our theme about living with less. ::National Downshifting Week with a few good ideas for individuals below the fold. Activities for the Individual

-Book a half-day off work to spend entirely with someone you love, no DIY allowed
-Cook a meal from scratch, using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, preferably organic
-Cut up a credit card
-Donate a bag of clothes, toys or useful items to a local charity shop, refuge or recycling centre
-Hand-make a simple card for the next birthday or event on your calendar
-Eliminate 3 non-essential purchases this week
-Plant something in the garden you can cultivate and eat and start a compost heap
-Consider reputable work at home parents and small local businesses, for services you need
-Tonight, turn off the television, switch on the radio, play a few games and talk
-Volunteer an hour of your time to a local charity shop, animal shelter, hospice etc