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Response 2017

Testimonial/Response/Comment/Feedback INDEX

The most current comments are at the bottom of the page.

Jan.-March | April-June | July-Sept. | Oct.-Dec.
JANUARY 2017

Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Sun., Jan. 8

In face of an economic system and an advertising industry that pressure us, we CAN take control of our own buying patterns! We can beat this addiction of overconsumption day by day... and then share ideas of simpler living with others.

Amen to that!

Elysha

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Jan 1

In the election, people felt the Bern! May as many people feel the Nudge in 2017.

Lee Van Ham

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1/8/17

SLW! Podcast

Gerald, Thank you for this wonderful series! Brilliant interview with amazing Walter B. Great questions and teasing out the finer points. Thank you and God Bless in this new year and crazy post-election nightmare. All Shall Be Well, I keep repeating!

Blessings and Hugs,

Joyce 'EarthMama' Rouse

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​Sat., Jan. 7

Re: Nudge

The first principle is not 'Think about Justice,' or even 'Believe in Justice.' It's 'Do Justice!' Besides our prayers, our contributions, and our pressure on governments, we help the world's poor by consuming less, thereby making more available for others. Biblical justice reflects God's great love for the poor and our parallel call to live in a way that positively responds to their needs.

I love this one! Even on days when I can do no more, consuming less is the foundation.

Lysh

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Jan 5

I have so enjoyed your e-mails and thank you for all your hard work.

Mimi

Miriam Confer [Daily Nudge]

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Tues., Jan. 24

'Quality time' can be a myth, an excuse to spend a little time together in order to spend more time working to make more money to accumulate more stuff. Quantity time is also needed for healthy relationships, being there... in sports and fun, worship, talking, the arts. If you find this is a problem, discipline yourself to keep track of relationship time and increase it 10% each month till you reach your goal.

Interesting concept.

Rita Jean

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Mon., Jan. 23

Reading aloud year-round, as well as telling one's own stories, builds relationships. When a parent reads to a child, a grandparent to a grandchild, spouses to each other, the act is as important as the story.

January: Life Principles of Voluntary Simplicity -- Week 3: Nurture People

That's true. I like reading the Bible out loud at breakfast.
Rita Jean

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

​Sun., Jan. 22

A weekly family meeting at a set time helps to coordinate schedules and gives children respect, inclusiveness and empowerment. It can also diffuse arguments. At a time of tension, one can say, 'Let's take this up at the family meeting.' Take turns taking minutes. Follow with family fun-time.

January: Life Principles of Voluntary Simplicity -- Week 3: Nurture People

Nice summary of family meeting procedures.

Rita Jean

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Fri., Jan. 20

Intimacy... getting to know someone well... opening oneself up. When we choose to be intimate with our spouse, things can get in the way. To be intimate we may choose to take something off... to take everything off. Stuff can get in the way of intimacy in other situations as well. We can learn to recycle stuff and put relationships first.

Wow! That was really racy. You must have hot sex with your wife.

Rita Jean

Seems as though mutuality could come along side intimacy. Yes?

Alderson, Warren

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Sun., Jan. 15

What do children say when they want to do something they know is irresponsible? 'But everybody's doing it!' Let's try that in our lives. 'But God, everybody's driving a new car.... But God, everybody builds a big, expensive house that's many times bigger than they need, claiming it's for equity when the kids leave home.... But God, everybody has a yard that looks like a golf course so that nobody complains that we're lowering their property values....' Sounds just as silly and disconcerting as kids' requests to sleep outdoors on a sidewalk overnight to be in line for tickets to a rock concert.

Why can’t I go to church? Everybody's doing it.

Alderson, Warren

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Mon., Jan. 16

Voluntary Simplicity is a consciousness, an awareness. It is a matter of personal responsibility and advocating for just public policy. Before we buy or use something we ask, 'Do I really need to do this?'

That was your best nudge yet !!

Rita Jean

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Jan 13

Today's Simpler Living Nudge

It is good to 'unburden' oneself. Thanks.

Alderson, Warren

I can take my watch off. I take my clothes off, all of them, for one special man.

Rita Jean

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Thur., Jan. 12
Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

For every Christian that North America and Western Europe loses, Africa gains three! We have something profound to learn from our African brothers and sisters.

Maybe we should increase our numbers for losses. . . just a thought? Backwards at that.

Alderson, Warren

I think it has to do with feeling blessed every day they are alive and the joyous dancing, singing, and instrument playing during worship.

Peace, Rita Jean

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Nudge, Wed., Jan. 11

Mid-week Sabbath: take a break, catch up on the latest nudges, relish these Simple Living­ QUOTES || ART

When I read to the end of these things. . . what do I do about the time that has taken from my ministry? Just thinking. That could be unique - me thinking.

Alderson, Warren

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Nudge, Tues., Jan. 10

All things are connected. We want to help those poor people with THEIR problem OVER THERE. However, we need to realize many of their problems are caused by OUR problem OVER HERE, our overconsumption.

Very good point! Rita Jean

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Nudge, Mon., Jan. 9

Reflect. 'And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?' - Micah 6:8.
We have a great deal to learn from people in Developing World countries, most of whom live simply by necessity, not choice.

We saw people living simply, by economics, in Kenya. Yet they still could dance and sing. extra-ordinary!

Rita Jean

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Sun., Jan. 8

In face of an economic system and an advertising industry that pressure us, we CAN take control of our own buying patterns! We can beat this addiction of overconsumption day by day... and then share ideas of simpler living with others.

Amen to that!

Elysha

# # #

Nudge, Wed., Jan. 18

Create a game with yourself that you can play with your children or grandchildren. It's OK to admire things in stores and say, 'I like that. I like THAT. I LIKE that.' Make it not OK to say, 'I want that,' or even worse, 'I need that.'

Umm? I think 'to need' may in fact be okay; but to 'want' and not 'need' could be a problem.

Alderson, Warren

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

Thur., Jan. 19

Think of the mall as a museum. Everything there is on display for your pleasure, but somebody else owns it. As you stroll through the galleries say, 'Thank you store person for putting this here for me to see. I'm so glad you're responsible for all this stuff and I'M NOT.'

Love this idea!!! Thanks! I just had a birthday and didn't get any stuff!!! Hurray!!!

Marti Lindholm

That is a great reminder. I have used it successfully, often, but not always.

Rita Jean

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Re: Nudge, 1/20

Intimacy... getting to know someone well... opening oneself up. When we choose to be intimate with our spouse, things can get in the way. To be intimate we may choose to take something off... to take everything off. Stuff can get in the way of intimacy in other situations as well. We can learn to recycle stuff and put relationships first.

Wow! That was really racy. You must have hot sex with your wife.

Rita Jean

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Re: SLW! eNews

1/13/17

beautiful newsletter - thank you for putting this into the world.

jacinda paschoal


Re: Facebook post on Living More with Less

2/4

Now that DC is using 'alternative facts,' we have changed 'alternate celebrations' to 'Non-Conform-Freely Celebrations' until the cult of fake news is banished.

That is my idea of an awesome choice!
Nancy Pietrulewicz

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2/5

Re: SLW! eNews iMessage

THANK YOU FOR THE INVITATION, ENCHANTED TO READ YOUR BLOG
Gaston

# # #

Subject: SANITY Suggestions + John 'Affluenza' de Graaf: Simple Living Works! eNews

Simple Living Works! eNews #65, Feb., 2017
In This Issue: I Buy Blue // Bye-bye 'Alternate Celebrations' // Simple Living SANITY // SLW! Podcast #86 --John 'Affluenza' de Graaf on Threats to Our National Parks // Our Simpler Living Daily Nudge // Easy-to-share for FEB. // What Others Are Doing - So Much Help! More!
What's NOW with SLW!

We've cancelled our vacation to Alaska and plan to see the fall colors in Vermont instead. More information about 'I Buy Blue. Won't You Too?'

Bye-bye 'Alternate Celebrations.' Simple Living Works! was originally called Alternatives. Since 1973, Alternatives has produced resources to help people of faith 'challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly.' To celebrate responsibly, we provided 'alternate celebrations,' ways to celebrate holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.) and rites of passage (birthday, anniversaries, etc.) that are much less commercial and build relationships.

Now that the new regressive administration in DC is using 'alternative facts' to distinguish themselves from the real facts, we may have to change 'alternate celebrations' to something else to keep from being associated with a web of lies and deception. Using the Fifth Life Standard of 'Living More with Less,' we will use Non-Conform-Freely-Celebrations' for the time being. We hope that we can return to Alternate Celebrations when the cult of fake news is banished.

'. . .when the cult of fake news is banished.'

Do you have any ideas for banishing fake news without abridging freedom of speech and freedom of the press?

Larry - Pastor Larry Trover

The Rev. Larry E. Trover B.A., M.Div., B.T.I.C.A.O.C.A., M.L.S., B.S.C

booking agent for Ohoho the clown, Ohoho.clown@hotmail.com
confidential secretary for Nicholas 'Nick' Claus, jolly.old.Nick@hotmail.com
and occasional supply pastor

See my new weekly blog posts 'Banishing Fake News' at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/indexoth.php?place=archives/featuredwriters.php#fake.

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Re: Simple Living Works! eNews #65, Feb., 2017

I Buy Blue // Bye-bye 'Alternate Celebrations' // Simple Living SANITY //

We've cancelled our vacation to Alaska and plan to see the fall colors in Vermont instead. More information about 'I Buy Blue. Won't You Too?'

Hi Gerald! I am not your typical reader from a 'blue state.' I am from 'red' Oklahoma. However, we have many generous citizens in our state who roll up their sleeves to help their neighbors here and will travel to help their neighbors in blue states in times of need. We don't refuse help to gay, Muslim and we have a woman governor so we are not anti-woman. This proposed travel ban to red states is promoting more division in our country and between Christian Brothers and Sisters. Jesus wants us to be unified and politics is a divider. Come to Oklahoma and get to know us better. I think you'll find we have more in common than you think.

Debbie Stone Hase, Jennings, Ok

Feb 4

Reply

Thank you for replying Gerald. I honestly didn't think you would. There is way too much divisive talk on both political sides. As Christians we have much in common; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, loving God with all of our heart and soul and loving our neighbor as yourself. Our cultures greatly dictate how we do that and that is where our differences begin.

I hope we can go to the place of what we agree on and build on that instead of drawing further divides. Let unity and love for our Savior begin with us.

I look forward to reading your blog.

Debbie

I am appalled by the campaign to economically harm all people who live in states where a majority voted for a particular political party. It is more irrational, self-righteous, leftist behavior.

Elizabeth Dwyer

Please read my extended 'I Buy Blue. How About You?' response to Debbie and Elizabeth

# # #

Feb 2

Nudge

Write a letter to the music publishers your congregation uses the most. Urge them to use recycled paper and soy-based inks when they print their music.

Good idea.
Rita Jean

That's right!
Elysha # # #

Today’s Simpler Living Nudge

Tues., Jan. 31

We can object when people suggest dress codes for voluntary events, such as company parties or church activities. Must men feel obliged to wear a tie?

It keeps some of the gravy off my shirt. Unlike my clerical collar which is totally useless, except for the announcement of 'Here come power, watch out!'
Alderson, Warren

No to the tie. Just don't wear it!
Rita Jean

# # #

Feb. 1, Wed.

Nudge

Musicians are not exempt from the call to offer help to the needy and to care for God's Creation. Urge your congregation to put on a benefit concert, including some music of social responsibility. Worthwhile musicals are Lazarus from Bread for the World, and The Race: A Simplicity Musical from the ELCA Hunger Program.

But I tell my prison musicians that when the angels fell out of heaven they landed in the choir. Is that not true? J
Alderson, Warren

Interesting new idea to me! Wonder if my church would do them?
Rita Jean


2/11

Dear Chief SLW! Activist Jerry:

I've got four email addresses for you, but rather than overload your inboxes, I'm writing to just this one.

Thank you for what you chose to do in your retirement, and inspiring me in mine. I just forwarded SLW!eNews to a young friend of mine with this note: 'Jerry Iverson does just what I like to do. He sends links to his friends...though on a much bigger scale!' 😊 She had just asked me what fake news was, and here's info on it in your eNews. You are role modeling what I see as untapped potential in our largely youth-oriented society: retirees being super activists through communications!!!

Thank you for writing so accessibly. I've sent your info to friends who are aged 30s to 80s, faith-based and not, city and country around the U.S. I love how SLW is down-to-earth, practical, action-oriented, stance-taking and strong yet not strident.

Thank you for creating your online community which is a movement as well. Simple Living Works! offers such a welcome anchoring effect in these turbulent times with the new administration and its policies. There is always something refreshing in SLW to open my mind and heart to new possibilities, and to share it around.

Gratefully,
Lily

Lily R.Wu
New York City
a.k.a. an LPF Issues Communicator

# # #

2/8

Re: Sanity #3: ZAP the News

I have been so worn out I've been muting the TV during especially tense or emotional moments of M*A*S*H. (Still a daily viewer, just about). ... And some things, I just reflexively change the channel -- that's usually with commercials. As odd as it sounds, those self-defense mechanisms never even occurred to me with news -- partly because I've been a newspaperman for 30 years, partly because I don't watch that much TV 'news' in the first place. But, good idea.

Richard Mize

I see your 'Like,' Gerald Iversen. This inspired a newspaper column. I quote this and attribute it to Simple Living Works, although I felt obliged to quality the advice against 'corporate media' -- no offense! If you'll set Google News Search & Grab or whatever it's called for my name, it'll alert you when it goes online, probably Friday late, or Saturday.

Richard Mize

Re: Banishing Fake News

Good stuff. I have to tell you, my worlds as a career newspaperman in red Oklahoma and red Texas collide with my midlife calling as a liberal/prog minister (ordained UCC, serving a mostly African-American PCUSA church part time).

Richard Mize

This kind of home security is always up to you
by Richard Mize // Published: February 11, 2017 12:00 AM CDT

The most important device in your house for self-defense could be right at your fingertips. http://newsok.com/article/5537324

Re: Sanity #3 at ELCA Clergy on FB

Or just skip TV news entirely and get news through radio and Internet (& if you have a good one, newspapers). Can't stand news anchors, lots of smiling while listing the dead, horrible smarminess, & now YouTube videos, ugh.

Katherine Rohloff, Pastor at Scandian Grove

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Re: Facebook post on Living More with Less

2/4

Now that DC is using 'alternative facts,' we have changed 'alternate celebrations' to 'Non-Conform-Freely Celebrations' until the cult of fake news is banished.

That is my idea of an awesome choice!

Nancy Pietrulewicz

# # #

Mar 14

Hello, I'm writing to say thank you for your podcast. I'm a 37 year old guy living on the eastern edge of Austin, TX. I've been interested in simple living since 2006. There have been very few podcasts episodes on the topic outside of SLW. So, I thank you for creating the content. Also, I'm an atheist ( former Christian), and I'm grateful that your podcasts isn't evangelical to the point of driving me away.

I do like the Earth-centered pagan outlook quite a bit, so thank you for giving Red Moon Song the opportunity to be on the podcast. Also, thanks for posting the episode with James Howard Kunstler. I'm a long time listener of Jim, and I know he can be a bit salty and sling cuss words to emphasize a point. Well, thanks for being versatile and including his voice.

There have been many other terrific interviews on the SLW podcast, and I'm appreciative of so many of them.

Oh, as was mentioned on the episode with Red Moon Song, the adherents of minimalism can seem to appear more selfish than the voluntary Simplicity movement. In fact, in my city, they are more likely to be upper middle class and stylish, while the followers of voluntary Simplicity seem to be more spiritual and also more like to use old clothing or accessories even if they are not the latest fashion. Even though the two followings overlap a whole lot, I've often wanted to point out their differences. Yet, the recent mention of minimalism at the end of the SLW podcast episodes is probably very wise. Fashion and travel aside, minimalist strive for many of the same lifestyle goals. In fact, some of the prominent minimalist authors of our time have a lot of wise things to say about deciding on what is 'enough' in our lives.

Well, may you all have a gorgeous spring.

Lee Dufrene

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Sent: Monday, March 06, 2017 9:07 AM

Re: Today’s Simpler Living Nudge

Beware of media and organizations that spread unconscious and excessive American nationalism, that suggest that Americans are superior than others because of our great wealth and power, that play on our fear of the unknown.

My mantra: 'Greatness is a by-product of GOODNESS.'

Alderson, Warren

# # #

Sunday, February 26

Subject: SANITY

Gerald: good thinking; maybe we can keep working on getting clarified and understood even if not accepted; I am living with 'I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you because greatness is a by-product of goodness.'

Warren Alderson

# # #

Re: SANITY

Tue, Feb 21

Hello Jerry,

I hope this finds you well. Thanks for the update.

You may remember me. I work in Lancaster PA with a group called Gifts that Give Hope: Lancaster’s Alternative Gift fair and we are entering our 10th year of alternative giving for the gift fair scheduled for December 9, 2017 which is a long way off, but we’re eagerly anticipating another great event. 2016 was our best year yet-we sold over $36,000 in alternative gifts and then over $10,000 in fair trade/social enterprise gifts and we’re looking to spread the word far and wide about how alternative giving can put purpose and meaning back into the holiday.

Would you be willing to share with us any suggestions you have for us to get the word out? In your publication(s), suggestions for reaching out regionally and nationally?

Ideally, we want to encourage people to come to the fair (We’re not far from DC, NY, Philly and MD) AND/OR consider hosting a fair in their hometown. Our website and mission is set up to facilitate and provide the tools for any group across the US (and even in British Columbia!) to host a fair.

Thank you kindly for your time and consideration,
Jenn Knepper
www.giftsthatgivehope.org/lancaster

# # #

2/21

Re: SANITY

Thank you for your work on this. I was lucky enough to meet you and your wife at the Global Mission Event in Amherst, MA that took place years ago (maybe 10+ years ago?). I took your class and learned a lot. I am still learning. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Rachel Jackson Hodsdon

# # #

Re: The Common Good Podcast Ep. 79 :: Candace Vanderhoff, Water Conservation/Reclamation | Jubilee Economics

Bravo to Gerald and Candace from a grateful humanity!
Charles Kyle, Ph.D.


Apr 6

Hi, Jerry!

I just finished listening to your episode with Susan Vogt on my way to work, and I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it -- both what she had to say about this Lenten adventure she's undertaken as well as your own candid thoughts. It gave me a lot to ponder, and it also led me to Susan's blog, which I've bookmarked to look at later.

Thank you for all you do for Simple Living Works!

Yours in Christ,

Kate Norlander

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3/14/17--Facebook

Gerald, it is good to meet you. Your life's work is such a blessing to see. Thank you!
Jane Rubietta

# # #

Mar 15

Gerald, I actually like the way you ask questions and speak. Your tone and timing may not be as hip as The Minimalists, Joshua and Ryan, but you do a wonderful job and asks terrific questions. They're good at teasing eachother and sounding smooth, and adding in some less valuable banter. I sometimes get annoyed with podcasts that include lots of banter and snark. It's trendy, especially amongst techy people or young urbanites, but I feel out of the loop at times.

I don't think tone and humor are making their podcast a hit though. First, their blog had a ton of followers and they've had a few years of touring and building a following of readers. I saw them in Austin in 2014. Second, minimalism is more popular with people under the age of 45, in my opinion, than Voluntary Simplicity. I came across simple living through reading about small farms and homesteading. Internet searches soon led to reading about voluntary Simplicity. This was back in 2006 and 2007, before minimalism became as wide spread. Voluntary simplicity seems to have more acceptance for using lower tech ways of doing things than does minimalism. I know it's not about avoiding technology, but minimalist tend to be early adopters of new tech and like a modernist aesthetic. So, I feel that minimalism blends in with modern society more. The followers that I've seen here in Austin are usually middle class, attractive, and fashionably dressed.

Voluntary simplicity seems to people that have less of an interest in fashion. Again, this is just how things seem to me. It's for this last reason that I believe minimalism has been gaining popularity at a fast rate.

There is an organization in Australia that is founded on voluntary simplicity, and has also been popular with people of all ages. Its run by a former lawyer turned philosopher, Samuel Alexander. Their sites are: simplicityinstitute.org simplicitycollective.com

It is possible that Australians feel a greater sense of limits, eco system wise, then Americans do. Or, they've faced hotter summers, and more people are interested in deeper simplicity rather than just having a minimum of the nicest consumer items.

It's neat that you grew up on a cattle and grain farm. What breed of cattle was raised there?

I actually don't live on a working farm, well as far as profitability goes, not yet. I rent on 160 acres. I keep 3 horses here and there are 5 other adults renting back here and sharing the same laundry area in the barn, and workshop.

I chose the email address PlainFarmer a decade ago. I planned to start my own tiny vegetable and herb farm, but I haven't reached that yet. I moved to Austin to apprentice on a well known organic farm, and got discouraged. I still hold that dream though. At this time I have about 100 linear foot of raised beds, and work full-time in habitat restoration and high end landscaping. It's a great job for an environmentalist, but the mileage thatI drive seems to negate some of the good that I'm doing. I end up spending 2 to 3 hours driving per day, and that conflicts with my goals and values.

As for the horses, they sometimes seem to keep me from simplifying further too. I feel conflicted at times, but I grew up riding and training, and it's a skill that is part of my identity.

I'm actually from south Louisiana. Rodeo brought me to Texas. I competed at the amateur and college level. Now, I'm actually trying to learn to ride English instead of western. I don't need to have steers to practice on, just jumps, and jumps don't need to be fed. I even feel conflicted about that at times though because English riding looks fancy and is usually done by affluent people. So.....yeah, making choices in relation to simplicity can sometimes feel complex. Regardless, I still feel that it is the right thing to do......Voluntary simplicity.

Lee

I'll have to listen to Nancy Pearlman again. I listen while working and sometimes miss things. On the other hand, I often replay episodes multiple times.


Re: FB Message
Gaston Gonzalez
THANK YOU FOR THE INVITATION, ENCHANTED TO READ YOUR BLOG

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Re: Today's Simpler Living Nudge

April 7, Fri.

Take only the number of showers you really need. Try one fewer this week. Need a shower to wake up? Wash your face instead. Install low flow shower heads. A regular shower uses 25 gallons; tub bath, 36. But a wet-down, soap-up, rinse-off shower uses only about four gallons! Turn off the water while soaping. http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/indexoth.php?place=nudge.php#040117

Gerald,

As with most of your nudges, I strongly agree with this one.
When we were kids, we 'washed up' each night , only taking (group) baths on Saturdays. Our neighbors often complimented us and our patents that we were such clean and mannerly kids.

Jeanne Bockholt


This page last updated 25 April, 2017

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