These tips to simplify your computer are for anyone who feels that computers are fine in moderation (or need them for work) but don’t want their lives run by them. It’s far better to be outside or be in the moment, isn’t it?
The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World is a wonderful book by writer Christina Crook, who decided to go without the Internet for 31 days, after hearing of a Vicar blessing a Blackberry (the phone, not the fruit). Deciding the world had finally gone mad, she wanted to know what she could learn from missing out on the Internet and social media for a month.
Although now back online (she sends her JOMO (joy of missing out) newsletter, which sends playful prompts to remind you to get outside to the real world), she did realise that we have to make our own decisions, on how to be discerning in our use of the online world.
Tips for a Digital Detox
- Download Adblock Plus to remove online ads.
- This Chrome extension removes sidebar videos.
- Switch to a quick modern browser (like Brave which never sells your details or tracks you, to try to make you buy stuff).
- Check online news once daily only maximum.
- Don’t reply to spam email.
- Empty your recycle bin, and use Disk Clean.
- Donate unwanted computers to charities. Businesses can recycle at Weee Charity.
- Install f.lux software. This is based on GSP location, turns your screen from blue to more akin to daylight (better for your eyes).
England’s Most Ethical Broadband Companies
Ecoisa plants trees for each time you search.
England’s most ethical broadband companies are ideal, if you work online. You either use a router (for better reception and no so affected by weather or busy beings elsewhere) or Wi-Fi (better for mobile work and less contracts). You can use a Router with Internet TV if you like to watch subscription channels like BritBox or Acorn TV (you could give up your TV license if that’s what you watch). If you use WiFi, you can’t use Internet TV (bar using a scart lead).
If it’s time to switch your broadband, which one do you choose? It’s entirely up to you, but here are few of the greener and more ethical options: Also see how to simplify your computer.
- Green ISP & Green Net are two main green broadband providers. They both offer broadband for personal and business use, with green energy and carbon offsets.
- The Phone Coop is the UK’s only co-operative telecoms supply. It can sign you up from £22 a month, and guarantees not to whack the price up, when you leave the contract.
- BT is the best choice for WiFi, with good customer service, if you don’t have a router or travel for work.
Help a Cause, As You Search the Web
You can download one of these alternative search engines (most work with Chrome) and sponsors pay your chosen cause, for every search. So it’s a great way to raise money for your favourite charities:
- Everyclick raises money for your local small charity or school. Just sign it up, and you’re away. If a whole community does this, you could raise thousands of pounds in a very short while for your local animal shelter, homeless hostel, medical equipment for the hospital.
- Lilo gives to good causes including protecting turtles, the Amazon rainforest and helping disadvantaged children in your local area.
- Give Water & Elliot for Water help bring clean water to those in need.
- Ekoru helps to clean up our oceans
Download free Adblock Plus to get rid of all online ads. This works, you’ll never go back. Also download a Chrome extension to remove sidebar videos (so if you watch something online, you won’t see upsetting videos in the sidebar). And switch to a quick modern browser: one that doesn’t track or try to sell you stuff is Brave.
Reclaim Your Children from the Screen
Read The Board Game Family.is a book to help reclaim your children from the screen. Ellie Dix offers a roadmap to integrating board gaming into family life, and presents inspiring ways to engage the trickiest of teenagers, to manage game nights with flair.
Keep small board game parts away from pets and children.
Many parents feel as if they are competing with screens, for their children’s attention. As the children get older, they become more distant, leading parents to worry about the quality time shared. This book helps to find tech-free time and reconnect.
If you have children, read Reset Your Child’s Brain, a no-cost 4-week program by a child psychiatrist to treat Electronic Screen Syndrome. This book gradually gets children away from over-ruse of computers, video games, smartphones and tablets, which can overstimulate a child’s nervous system.
Teacher and educationalist Ellie aims to help fellow parents by inviting them and their families to the unplugged world of board games. This can help develop interpersonal skills, boost confidence, improve memory formation and cognitive ability, and refine problem-solving and decision-making skills.
The book offers a wealth of tips to unleash the potential of those dusty game boxes at the back of the cupboard. And become teachers of outstanding gamesmanship, to navigate the unfolding drama of competition and be a more cohesive family unit. Includes tips on applying game-playing principles to daily life and an appendix of over 100 game descriptions, including a brief overview and key info on game length, player count and mechanics.
This Handcrafted Snakes & Ladders Game is handcrafted from maple wood. CE tested and approved. Instead of plastic, even the counters and dice are made from biodegradable wood, all handcrafted in the beautiful New Forest.
Not for children under 6 due to small parts. Remove all packaging and assemble correctly.
The game is also personalised with the family’s name, and sits on a cork base (no trees are chopped down to make cork). Includes full instructions, and cute illustrations in a beautiful colour palette. Read The Board Game Family, which includes instructions on over 100 board games, and the benefits of playing them.
This educational plastic-free jigsaw is made from recycled paper and card. Many jigsaws can’t be recycled, as they are covered with plastic laminate. Many puzzles also wrap all the loose pieces in a plastic bag, inside the box. The 1000-piece puzzle is sold in an organic cotton bag, and uses starch-based glue. Made in Dorset.
Keep small parts away from pets and young children.
Wentworth Wooden Puzzles also pack all their jigsaws in boxes without plastic, and ensure they are only made from certified wood. The puzzles are also made to last so they last for the next generation. Handmade in the heart of the British countryside. Some have shaped irregular pieces for added challenge including dissected corners.
This charming Peter Rabbit Dominoes Set is made from wood, and makes a lovely gift. It even includes a personalised name on the wooden box. This toy is not just fun, but helps children learn to recognise colours and learn to count.
Keep small parts away from pets and children.
Dominoes is an ancient game that is still very popular, especially in Caribbean communities. A domino is a tile with a line in the middle, with black spots on each side. The number of spots is different on each side, and some are blank. The most popular game is to empty one’s hand, while blocking your opponent.
Another nice memory game is this one. Match a Pair of Birds will encourage children to learn about wildlife. This is like Bingo, but to learn about 25 pairs of male and female birds around the world. Just place the cards face down and see if you can remember where the matching bird is located. Ruffle your opponent’s feathers, by collecting more pairs, to win. Includes a wonderful range of birds from the barn owl to the blue tit, from ostrich to macaw. Features 50 colour illustrations from Glasgow artist Christine Berrie. For players age 6 and over.