Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference: Simple Things You Can Do to Change Your Life & the World Around You

Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering

John F. Blair, Publisher
$21.95 hardcover
7 x 9       
180 pages
Ed Begley Jr., foreword
Published in 2004

Are you discouraged when there are only a few minutes left for your family after a day of drudgery at the office? Have you experienced a sense of emptiness after the thrill of buying that new SUV, lawn tractor, or designer ensemble wore off? Are you concerned that your kids are being recruited to the worst excesses of popular culture at an even younger age than you were?

Relax. That’s just your better nature calling.

Many people have the urge to be thoughtful stewards of time, money, resources, and the global environment, yet they feel powerless against the tide of advertising and social pressure that’s drowning them. Or they believe that consumerism is so far advanced that their efforts to change the culture would be inconsequential.

Is it too late to make a difference?

No, say Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering, who believe that it is not too late to take back our lives and our culture. In 1986, they left their high-powered careers in Los Angeles to move to a family orchard in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where they found that a more meaningful, less frenetic life—a simpler life—was there for the asking. Indeed, they discovered that they were not alone; across our nation, millions of American have embarked on the quest for a more meaningful life. The guiding principle of that quest is this: Every positive change, no matter how modest, has an impact.

In chapters covering time, money, work, the environment, child rearing, community life, health and food, and spiritual growth, the authors offer proven, practical advice on how to simplify and improve life. Not idle dreamers but the owners of a small business themselves, not armchair critics but doers and proud Americans who believe it’s important to work within the system, Urbanska and Levering point the way toward a future in which community, family, and spiritual and environmental health can reclaim their rightful positions alongside money as the pillars of a sustainable life.


“Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering teach us what we already know but stubbornly ignore: that ‘the good life’ is achieved not through pay raises and more stuff but through good health, strong relationships, and fulfilling work. With hundreds of practical tips as guides, the authors are a modern-day Lewis and Clark, leading us out of the consumption-centered wilderness and into a freer, healthier, and happier paradise!” —Gary Gardner, director of research for the Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C.
“In the last several years, happiness in America has declined and depression has spiked. Why? What can we do? The answers are in this book. You’ll experience a sense of joy, meaning, and hope as Wanda and Frank explain in their clear and flowing prose how simplicity transforms people’s lives.” —Cecile Andrews, author of The Circle of Simplicity