Downshifting Life and Being Green

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When the road becomes too steep, the climb too challenging, we downshift.  The engine slows and the torque is increased to improve the overall performance of the vehicle.  Green downshifting applies this same basic driving concept to life.

Our society is experiencing yet another dramatic adjustment in business, finance and lifestyle.  Everyone is looking for ways to cut back … to do more with less, or even to have less and be satisfied.  This requires reassessing priorities and returning to basics.

In these lean times more and more people look for ways to cut back without losing their sense of self.  They don’t want to lose social status or sacrifice their own enjoyment of the finer things in life.  But now, in the 21st Century, we are operating on a heightened social consciousness.  More importantly, vital earth’s resources are being consumed at an alarming rate by a growing population whose excesses denude not only the landscape, but the basic molecular structure of the earth.  So how do we fix such a broken machine?

The world’s population continues to grow exponentially each and every day.  Major natural adjustments, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes may well be the earth’s efforts to shake the fleas off its back.  You’re not a flea, you say?  Then let’s take a serious look at how your life could be improved by downshifting and becoming part of the solution.

Stress:  Hypertension and heart attack are the most controllable cause of death for modern man.  “Keeping up with the Joneses” has stimulated us to earn more, have more and be more than any generation before.  Look around you.  Does your 38-year old boss look 50?  Do they have a sense of humor?  How about your own sense of humor … where did it go?  These are all signs that you might need to downshift.

Joy:  What brings you joy?  Is it a memorable sale at work, or is it a hug from your significant other?  If you had to measure the two on a scale, which would win out?  Many individuals choose to downshift when they realize that their life priorities have fallen out of balance and they’ve lost their joy for the truly important moments.

Overabundance:  Modern society has promoted consumerism, driving us to want the newest, biggest and hottest toys on the market as proof of our success.  We are imparting these values in our children.  Is that the generation that we truly hope to inspire … a society of super-consumers?

Downshifting does not require a sloughing off of all of our values, only those that reek of excess and unnecessary consumption.  It is akin to putting your lifestyle on a diet.  Desired losses are balanced by increased freedom and newfound potential.

Some families have downshifted back to essentials … cutting off all financial outlays for six months and learning to barter and deplete needed resources.  This shift in reality allows them to cut back to basics and divest themselves of unnecessary excess.  Others take a less stringent approach and limit their attention to entertainment or fast food excursions.

If life has you over a barrel and you wonder where it’s all taking you, pick one convenient aspect of your life and cut it out.  Crossing that first hurdle may prepare you to embrace a new way of life free of the shackles of expectation.  Other’s as well as your own.

Related posts:

  1. Remedies for High Blood Pressure: Take Control of Your Life
  2. Simple Steps to Start a Life of Green Living
  3. Carbon Footprints 101: What Is It and How to Reduce Yours
  4. Green Living Tips for Living Life
  5. Save the Planet by Switching Pens


  1. Gian Claudio says:

    This is truly an excellent post, and for most people – the solution is quite simply getting back to basics.

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