Losing the Tube

Great morning!

It looks like Maui is finally experiencing a bit of Spring, as it’s a wet one out here in the middle of the Pacific today.  I’m a bit bummed because I (1) have a bunch of laundry to be done [we only hang-dry] and (2) had some fun beach plans with the munchkin I’m babysitting soon.

Ah well.  Mother Nature trumps all plans today.  Looks like we’ll be finger painting instead! Winking smile

As you know, my headline for this blog has always been living a simple yet significant lifeI’ve been thinking a lot lately about that, and how my my life really hasn’t seemed simple at all since starting grad school.  Sure, Ben and I live extremely simply when compared to most other twenty-some married couples, but personally I’ve felt like my life has been turned upside-down – it’s contents are scattered everywhere and I feel like I’m constantly trying to sort through the mayhem.

If I really think about it, I’ve kept every aspect of life aside from school simple – I mean, come on, I even left my job to create more balance in my life – but sometimes it’s hard to recognize my own truths when they’re so engrained in my every day life.

With that in mind, I’m realizing that I want to bring more focus on living simply to the blog. 

For instance, I want to talk about what our debate on keeping our microwave has been all about and discuss the difficulties of deodorizing and softening laundry without a dryer.  I also want to have conversations about how composting works [or doesn’t work] in our home, and the reasons we don’t use salt in most of our recipesIn essence, I want to address all the things that my friends find to be odd about our lifestyle [“So… what do you do at night if you don’t have a television?”].

Which brings me to today’s topic: the reasons Ben and I have chosen against having a television.


It may not have even phased you in some of the photos of our home that we don’t have a TV, but it’s true.

Ben and I have lived together for seven years [eight if you count the dorms]: four of those years included a television and three have not. 

As those first few years of college passed, Ben and I both realized that we were very rarely the ones sitting on the sofa watching anything on the tube.  We’d sit and watch a few shows with our roommates between classes, but most of the time we used television as an excuse to procrastinate.  And to be honest, between school, clubs, work, and gym time, I didn’t have much time to procrastinate during college.

Between the 5 men I lived with senior year, the television was the most utilized piece of equipment at the house [a close second only to our homemade Beer Pong table – obviously].


Most of the time it was just the boys watching sports [I honestly don’t understand how baseball season can last what seems to be eight months!], with me indulging sparingly to watch my favorite shows like Intervention (even if I kept my eyes closed for 2/3 of the episode).

Just about every time a family member comes to visit our home, they offer us a television [“I have an extra one in the garage with a DVD player… I can bring it up tomorrow”], and we have to keep explaining why we purposefully don’t have one.  When it came time for Ben and I to set up our home on Maui, we decided that we didn’t want a television because, to us, it was still simply a tool for procrastination.  We realized that when we would watch TV, hours would pass without our knowing and we hadn’t done anything we had hoped to get done during that time.

Ben and I don’t feel at all deprived by not having a television.  In fact, we find that our lives are more fulfilled because we get so much more done in comparison to our counterparts.  Instead of sitting in front of a television for hours, Ben and I:

  • started a garden
  • cook and enjoy meals together
  • get outside to hike, swim, and play
  • get homework done […sometimes]
  • run and work out
  • read more books
  • don’t feel so overwhelmed with endless amounts of advertisements
  • start new hobbies [like blogging, jewelry-making, and painting]
  • save on our electric bill
  • concentrate better [seriously… sometimes watching tv makes me dizzy nowadays because I’m not used to how quickly everything moves on the screen!]

When we have guests, our attention is focused 100% on the people rather than having TV noise in the background (although we usually play music when we have people over), and we’ve found great ways to have fun with our guests [like playing games like Mexican Train + Farkle] so that most of the time they don’t even realize our home is TV-less.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a few of our favorite shows and movies!  We share a Netflix subscription with my Mom [who also doesn’t have a TV], and have a pretty decent DVD collection.  Also, modern technology has made it all too easy for us to watch our favorite shows online when we want to.  A few of our favorites right now:

  • Australian Rules Football [go Carlton!]
  • Community
  • Glee!

We try to keep up with the shows and fully savor them, but we also make an effort not to spend too much energy [or get obsessive] on them.

In all, Ben and I are used to getting comments about how strange it is that we don’t have a television, but for us, it works.

Do you have a television?  What are your favorite shows/movies?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


12 thoughts on “Losing the Tube

  1. Lauren says:

    Yes! It’s all about Netflix. There’s no way to watch TV or movies if you don’t make a big effort. We have our TV on wheels and keep it in the closet. We don’t have cable so we just roll it out to watch movies which is a hassle (which is the whole point). Now that it’s getting nicer and the days are longer, we’re not using it as much. Getting rid of the TV is very liberating! Can’t wait to read more of your posts on keepin’ it simple!

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Wow, you bring up a great point about weather having an impact on the amount of time we spend inside [and ultimately watching movies and TV]. It has been SO easy for us in Hawai’i to not miss it one bit… but I don’t know how I’d do up where you guys are!

  2. Therese says:

    You already know that we cut the cable recently and before that I hadn’t had regular cable in years. We like our movies (and have a big ass TV in which to watch them on) and we joined zip.ca which is the Canadian version of Netflix (Netflix just opened here but it’s currently only streaming and the selection is crappy) so we do the same as you.

    I much prefer life without cable and find myself, whenever I go home, fairly annoyed because I want to spend actual time with my family but mostly we just sit around watching bad TV shows! People tell me they couldn’t live without it and I keep having to tell them that they’d be surprised. I used to be absolutely addicted and now I don’t even care!

    • greenplatedinners says:

      It’s good to hear you’re doing great without the cable, Therese! And I agree about feeling a little let down by those family members who keep the tv on the ENTIRE time I’m over for a visit… I’m constantly distracted [bright colors, loud sounds, quick-moving images!!], haha.

  3. kira loves haley!!! (ben too!) says:

    hi haleyohs! hope you’re feeling better! just caught your post about tv! i don’t think i noticed you guys didn’t have a tv when we were there! it was so fun just sitting around talking and eating and resting and reading! Our house has so many roommates that most do watch tv for sports, but at every house meeting (’cause we’re all dorky former r.a.’s like that…and yes – we do use a white board at our meetings! haha!) we always bring up the possibility of limiting our tv access, just in case we want to cancel our cable. I totally notice, too, that even if the t.v. is off, it commands attention in the room! It still has energy emanating from it! We moved our t.v. to the front of the house for the duck game in january and it never left!

    Anyway, I was just thinking about how you said that you and ben are getting used to the comments from ‘ohana and friends about your choices they think are “odd” but you both made on purpose. Here are some things we do here that are often brought up and questioned by my ‘ohana and friends:
    *calling each other our ‘ipo’ or ‘partner’.
    *not shopping at walmart
    *saying “continent” or “turtle island”…anything but “mainland”. haha!
    *eating vegetables, eating local…really eating anything healthy gets me weird looks at work.
    *walking to work, sharing a car between 2 people. we definitely have to live in town to be able to do this, but town people drive A LOT for how close everything is.
    *not giving a crap about the royal wedding – hahaha! this one really boggled my aunty’s mind! “how could you not know about kate?!!”
    *and most recently my cell died and i haven’t hurried to get a new one. it’s been pretty weird to see how anxious my own ‘ohana has been about me not having a cell. Also, I’ve had to plan days better and be more patient.

    eh, i figure it’s a good chance to talk to other folks about why we made our choices…it’s just weird to be otherized as “earthy” or “hippie”…i always ask – if we’re “earthy” than what are you? non-earthy? also, i always figured that hippie is a haole counter-culture, not exactly where i’m getting my mana’o from (though i get plenty love for our hippie friends!)

    love you haley!

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Kira my love! Ben + I read your comment together and afterwards said, “THIS is why these two are our soul mates”, hehe. You guys live such amazing lives, and we agree 100% about EVERY thing on your list [especially the shopping at Walmart bit!], but we WISH we could survive on just one car. Maui just isn’t set up for that =(.

      And I agree about the concept of being a “hippie”… I feel like, most of the time, people just use that as an umbrella term for anyone who strays from the mainstream… we should make our own term for it…

  4. 2blu2btru says:

    I have two TVs, though I don’t use the one in the bedroom unless I’m watching a DVD (no DVD in the front room). I have a DVR, so I only watch shows when I want to/have time to. I also have a netflix subscription (because I LOVE movies), so if it’s old enough, I can watch all of the episodes of shows through Netflix (that’s how I discovered Bones, Lie to Me, Dexter, and Dead Like Me). I am fascinated by babies, but am not interested in having them anytime soon, so my favorite shows of the moment include trashy things like 16 & Pregnant, Teen Mom, and Pregnant in Heels. If I’m watching actual TV, it’s usually reality TV. As far as movies go, I like too many to name. I love Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, & Sandra Bullock’s romantic comedies and the Kill Bill movies, along with much in between. I should have been in ancient Rome; I love being entertained (although that didn’t bode well for them).

    • greenplatedinners says:

      I LOVE Dexter!!! My sis-in-law introduced it to us and we totally dig it! Hehe, I’m just like you with the baby fascination, although I’ve never heard of those shows… I used to watch TLC’s “A Baby Story” ALL the time [even when I was waayyy too young to have kids… like 14], lol.

  5. Momma says:

    My family grew up ATTACHED to the tv: “Plugged in” if you will… but I have never really cared for tv because when I was growing up I thought my family used it to ignore me (doesn’t the whole world revolve around me??) Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been addicted to NYPD Blue, CSI and other shows and thank god I got rid of my tv before Food Network!! OY, nowadays the only time I have access to TV is when I travel and the first thing I do is turn it on and then get hypnotized and lose a half day. Even on holidays when we go to my family’s homes, I’ve sat and watched marathons of Cesar the Dog Whisperer of Iron Chef for HOURS when I could be talking with my family!

    Haley (and Kira) I love the choices you’ve made and as part of both your OHANA, I totally support you in these conscious deliberate choices and I’m learning a lot from you ❤

    Love you!

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