Saturday, April 22, 2006


I caught up with Tracey Smith today, founder of the website, promoting downshifting week.
Tracey and husband Ray moved to France and back again to the Uk to improve their quality of life, to slow down and have more time with their children. You can read all about it in the Guardian's article printed today.
Tracey has also been put forward for the ITV Eco Hero award which is due to be announced by the end of April 2006.

Q: The suggestions made in National Downshifting Week are very easy to follow. For positive green change, surely it needs to be more assertive.

On the contrary, I think the beauty of it is that people can just dip their toes in to a bit of simple, green living. If they are encouraged by achieving quick and effective results, they are far more likely to explore the next step and do more.

Q: What do you hope to achieve from it all? Do you have a book coming out you want to sell?

A: I am a committed and optimistic downshifter, very content with her lot! I have realised that by taking on an extreme downshift, there are just so many layers and levels to it and I just want to write about them Lots can be done in your own four walls and you do not need to move anywhere. I want to get that message across. Also, there are so many green elements you automatically embrace when you have a bit more time on your hands - I want to encourage people to lean towards the green for all of our benefit. As for the book, yes, I have an e-book on my site - 'Slow Down and Green Up - A Beginners' Guide to Downshifting' charge though, it's free, so hop on and download it!
Thanks to Tracey and fingers crossed for the award.

I agree with Tracey that you do not need to move per se to green up and slow down, and I have found the information on her site to be of great help. There are a lot of books on simple living out there and they all have a valuable message to put across but I believe the essence of downshifting week is making a commitment yourself to think about the principles and make realistic goals that are meaningful to you. Changing something every month towards your goal and rewarding yourself when you have achieved that step are simple for us all to do, it just needs you to get started. In the end, only you can achieve the way you want to live, no one can do it for you. It sounds sounds hard work, but actually are you not working hard as it is just a different way of life......

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