Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Downshifting week in the USA

Conscious consuming is expanding downshifting week in the USA.


Boston, MA, July 2, 2007:

The USA will soon be celebrating its first National Downshifting Week, an
awareness campaign sponsored jointly this year by Tracey Smith, the founder
of National Downshifting Week in the UK, and Boston non-profit Conscious
Consuming. National Downshifting week is scheduled for July 7-13, 2007 and
is designed to help participants "Slow Down and Green Up."
To downshift means to cut out unnecessary expenditure and cultivate a
simpler lifestyle with time to do more of the things you want to do. Data
from the mid-90's from the Trends Research Institute shows that about 10% of
Americans identify with downshifting, voluntary simplicity, and simple
living. Duane Elgin, author of several books on voluntary simplicity, calls
this a "conservative estimate." While there is a definite trend toward
voluntary simplicity, too many Americans sacrifice themselves to their work.
According to Lisa Steubing, Executive Director of Take Back Your Time, more
than half of Americans will take less than a week's vacation this year.

Smith says, "Downshifting can leave you excited, encouraged and upbeat and
can reduce your stress. A positive approach to living with less helps you
re-think ways to enjoy time with your loved ones without reaching for your
wallet; changes to your spending habits should happen because you want them

Donohoe notes that the dates for National Downshifting Week (July 7-13th)
were chosen to coincide with the birthday of America's most famous
downshifter, Henry David Thoreau (born July 12, 1817). "Modern downshifters
don't have to move into a cabin in the woods to simplify their lives, but
would to well to stop chasing money and material things. Happiness depends
on knowing when you have enough, and spending time doing the things you love
to do," says Donohoe. "Downshifters can live deliberately, leave a lighter
footprint on the earth, and have even more time with their families and

National Downshifting Week’s slow down top tips are targeted at individuals,
companies, and children and schools, and include things like cutting up a
credit card and planting a garden.
During the UK's 3rd National Downshifting Week in April 2007, almost 11,000
people from 96 countries and 24 American states visited the website. Over
the past 3 years, many thousands of visitors have used the Downshifting
an inspirational printout, which allows individuals to track their
progress on the road to leading a simpler, happier life.
For further details see www.downshiftingweek.com
and www.consciousconsuming.org


Susan Donohoe
Boston, MA
Conscious Consuming, Public Relations Coordinator

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