How I Live More With Less

Adults and youth attending the bi-annual Mennonite Church USA convention in Pittsburgh, Pa. were asked: How do you live “more with less?”  Below are their answers, grouped by categories.

What is your response to this question?  We invite you to post them on the Living More with Less Facebook page.


I make birthday and get well cards from scraps of paper. – Maria
Anna I use recycled jeans, old shirts, etc. to sew my own bags and quilts. – Anna
We recycle milk cartons, cans, cardboard and paper. – Tara
LuAnne I have my third grade students recycle plastic and paper in our classroom. – LuAnne
I recycle in my classroom – Carissa
I’ve used the same plastic silverware all week. – Joe
James I carry a drink cup or re-use disposables. – James
Connie I am the compost/recycle queen! – Connie


Rileigh I have fun with what I have. – Rileigh

Ryan I live more with less by doing things that are free, [such as] go out in the woods and walk. – Ryan
Amy For fun, our family takes walks through local parks. – Amy
Jonathan I bike when I can and enjoy a lot of time outside. – Jonathan
Laura I encourage others through sports and have fun. – Laura
Caleb I go hiking, dancing, skipping … whatever it is, it’s with friends. – Caleb


Jimm My family has committed to having one car. – Jimm
Grant I drive a small car when I really want to drive my truck – Grant
David I ride my bicycle everywhere. – David
Sue I live in the city where we are able to walk to work, restaurants, library, post office, etc. – Sue
Sandy I walk to church and instead of buying a second car when my spouse’s car died, we bought a motorcycle. – Sandy
I walk to work and bike to church. – Gordon
Adrienne I make sure I carpool or take public transportation whenever I can. – Adrienne
Craig I moved near where I work so I only have a two-mile commute. – Craig


Mary We grow many of our own vegetables (without chemicals) and enjoy canning and freezing them. – Mary
Sam I live more with less by using water collected in rain barrels to grow tomatoes, lettuce, flowers and tea. – Sam
Singgih We do supper club with our small group to share our vegetables from our gardens. – Singgih
Jonah I have a large garden of fruits and vegetables. – Jonah
Amanda I grow a garden. – Amanda
D.J. I plant a garden every year and cook most meals from scratch. – D.J.
Deborah Every summer we do canning and freezing. – Deborah
Sarah I compost and garden. – Sarah
Kaylene I use many leftovers to make new creative meals. – Kaylene
Brian I cook and eat low on the food chain (using Extending the Table, of course). – Brian
Myron I milk my own goat. – Myron
Jay I garden. – Jay


Jacqueline I shop at thrift and consignment stores for my clothing. – Jacqueline
Denise I live more with less by cutting down on the amount of packaging we consume by buying staples like oatmeal in 25 or 50 pound bags. – Denise
Ashley I live more with less by not using plastic bags when I go to stores and instead bring my own recycled bags. – Ashley
Laura I garage sale for almost all of my children’s clothes. – Laura
Ramona I live more with less by not using plastic bags when shopping and taking re-usable bags everywhere I go. – Ramona
Paula I use cloth diapers for my child to reduce waste in the landfill. – Paula
Holly I live more with less with cloth diapers. – Holly

Multiple ways

Janet Solar panels, bike to work when I can, CSA and landscape with a garden – Janet
Reuben I live more with less by trying to save electricity and trying to eat organic. – Reuben
Elizabeth I live more with less by growing my own vegetables and biking to work. – Elizabeth
Jeni I wear pants more than once before washing, and re-use materials including old clothes, plastic bags, and containers. – Jeni
Barry I live more with less through gardening, woodstove heat and a fuel efficient car. – Barry
Kolton I converted my house to a “green” house and run/bike to destination. – Kolton
Esther I live more with less by working together with others to plan a green urban co-housing condo as part of the revitalization of downtown Durham. – Esther


Carol I resist war taxes by living under the taxable level. – Carol
I look for ways to celebrate a more “socially just” Canada Day or July 4th celebration. Possibly have a major community picnic and encourage the local chapter of some group such as Amnesty International, and possibly encourage everyone to sign and send letters on behalf of “prisoners of belief and conviction” in various countries as a result of the picnic. –Valerie
Ryan I live more with less day by day. – Ryan
Kathy I don’t shower every day unless necessary. Make my own entertainment by planning low to no cost activities. – Kathy
Liz I try to be “green.” – Liz
Savannah I put my underwear in the freezer during summer instead of turning on the air conditioning. – Savannah
Mandi I try to always wear my jeans twice before washing them. – Mandi
Jeff I share my trailer when others need to have things hauled. – Jeff
Jacob I invest hugely with small provisions. – Jacob
Galen I use hot water from my woodstove for showers daily, using a bucket. – Galen
Lena We have all fluorescent light bulbs. – Lena

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