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9 bloggers' yearlong green journeys

March 21, 2011, 10:55 a.m.
the Kolberg family

Photo: AYearUnplugged.com

9 of 11

No technology

The Kolberg family did something unheard of in Silicon Valley: They took a break from technology. Sharael Kolberg details their experience a year later on A Year Unplugged: “We realized we had gotten into the habit of spending evenings with the TV on while checking Facebook. We decided to turn off technology and take our family back.” The Kolbergs crafted specific rules: No TV, no phone except for emergencies, no computer except for work, and no digital camera for photographer Sharael. While they missed TV sometimes, they enjoyed their time together reading, gardening and hiking.

Although it was sometimes embarrassing to admit they didn't use the Internet, it didn't hold the Kolbergs back. Sharael even carried her typewriter to a coffee shop, where she overheard a senior citizen say she was “living in the dinosaur era.” Although their year unplugged is over, the Kolbergs appreciate what they learned. Jeff says he realized that TV is a waste of time, and Sharael learned to slow down and live in the moment. She doesn’t even jog with her iPod anymore, but instead enjoys the sounds of nature.