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Forging the Path toward Simplicity - March 22

March 21, 2005

Category: Events, Students


The host of the PBS television series “Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska” will offer suggestions for those who seek a solution to the overbooked, stressed-out life on Tuesday, March 22. Wanda Urbanska will speak on “Forging the Path toward Simplicity” at 7:15 p.m. at the Catawba College Center for the Environment facility.  

Urbanska, who co-produces the series with Frank Levering, notes that living simply is particularly important today because of the stresses in people’s lives. “Many Americans are over their heads in debt,” she says. “We are over-spending and over-consuming at record rates. We experience time pressure because we are spending so much time working and not enough time taking care of other important parts of our life, like building community, protecting our environment or community service.”

Urbanska will discuss the desire for a simpler lifestyle and relate how adopting a philosophy of environmental stewardship, thoughtful consumption, community involvement and financial responsibility can help forge the path toward simplicity. She will focus particularly on issues of energy conservation and time pressures, noting the importance of carving out time to build relationships both in our families and in our communities.

The Mount Airy-based “Simple Living” television series, which is available in 77 percent of TV households across the United States, is the first major television series on simplicity.   Urbanska calls it “a paean to a more meaningful life with less debt, less clutter and less stress.”

The presentation will celebrate the partnership recently forged between Catawba College and its Center for the Environment and the Simple Living series. The center and the series share a common mission to educate the public about conservation matters. Catawba and the center will be recognized in the credit roll of the second run of the series, which will begin airing in the fall of 2005. Through the partnership, the college serves as the financial agent for the second complement of programs.

“One of the reasons we decided to affiliate with Simple Living is the message it promotes,” says John Wear, director of the center and a member of the Simple Living National Advisory Board. “It’s not only an environmental message but also a message about living in this world – about living in a way that uses fewer resources and about enjoying a lifestyle that gives us more time to be with our children and our families.”

Urbanska and Levering embody the simple living message. Nearly 20 years ago, they moved from the fast lanes of Los Angeles, where they worked as a journalist and screenwriter, to the slower pace of Mount Airy to take over the family orchard, which is located in the Virginia mountains near the North Carolina border.

They have co-authored two books relating to the theme: Simple Living and Nothing’s Too Small to Make a Difference. In addition, Urbanska hosted the 1998 PBS primetime special, “Escape from Affluenza: Living Better on Less.”

Her presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 300 of the center facility on the Catawba campus. A reception will be held at 6:45.