DECEMBER 19, 2013 BY 

Read parts 1 and 2 and about the Challenge here

One of my mother’s favorite expressions is “The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.” And during the holiday season, year after year, I am furiously paving that road. Why? Because every year, I say to myself – this will be the year that I will buy less “stuff.” This will be the year I make meaningful gifts. This will be the year I enjoy time with my family instead of hours in the car driving from one event to the next. And yet, I continue to get caught up in the holiday madness, stressed out and missing the best moments. Hell – here I come!

YVSC is starting the New Year with a challenge to “Live Simply” – to reduce our need for the shiny and new, to slow down, and to enjoy each other and the amazing valley in which we live. We all know that trying to live more simply is better for us personally, but why is YVSC putting this challenge out there? Reducing our consumption and waste, appreciating our natural world, and taking the time to walk or bike is also good for the environment.

The first challenge is reducing consumption, especially after the holidays! Around this time of year it becomes like a habit and even after Christmas is over, we all tend to continue to want those new things. (Admit it, haven’t you ever gone out and purchased the gift you really wanted but didn’t get for Christmas?) How do we get over wanting the latest ski gear, tablet, cutest pair of boots ever? Go cold turkey! You choose – one day a week, one week a month, or an entire month, 3 months, 6 months, one year – your choice, but don’t buy anything new during that period. Use our great local thrift stores for clothes and ski gear, get your iPad repaired or buy one refurbished instead of buying a new one, and do you really need that cute pair of boots? Try it! See how much you save, see how you react, see how you do. Not only will you be reducing your impact on the environment, but impact on your wallet as well. And the thrift stores and repair shops are local business too. It’s a win, win, win!

Take this first step to “Live Simply” and continue to join us as we take on this challenge. For the next two months, follow our blogs with tips on everything from mindfulness and saving money to zero waste and energy efficiency.  I promise to check in with you next holiday season to let you know whether I have been able to develop the habits to live more simply or if I continue to pave that road. Stay tuned!


Sarah Jones, Executive Director, YVSC