The Way We Live

Less is more

The Way We Live

Imagine a world where we focus on relationships, community-building and experiences. A world where we use natural resources at a rate that nature can replace. That’s our vision, and to help create this world we start in the heart of the nation. We invite Iowans to explore what most fulfills them. Then encourage them to live out those priorities. Often, that means more focus on such things as family, relationships and spirituality. We also encourage exploration of the impacts of consumption. You’ll find lots of resources here about that. Thoughtful consumption is one of the most important things we can do for our planet. Our primary initiative has been online and face-to-face professional development for PreK-12 educators since 2000.


  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES – Engage your K-12 students’ curiosity and help them become problem-solvers in one of The Secret Lives of “Stuff” graduate or recertification courses we offer through AEA Learning Online. We see products in grocery stores or malls; we buy them; and we use them. But we don't know the complex chain of events that took place to get us these products. You, and in turn your students, will get a better understanding of the processes involved by exploring product life cycles. Register here or ​Learn more 

  • RECLAIM YOUR HOLIDAYS – Non-formal educators such as extension specialists, naturalists and congregational leaders help Iowans create more meaningful and enjoyable  winter holidays in an age when material goods abound. Reclaim Your Holidays focuses on nurturing relationships and living intentionally in order to create higher quality holiday experiences that are kinder on the environment. Click to get started

  • FIND AN ACTIVITY – We’ve been testing resources since 2000 and have collected our favorite videos, books, and lesson plans together in one place for you. These activities actually work and are searchable by audience, topic, and more. They’re great for PreK-12 educators, Reclaim Your Holidays leaders, and anyone looking for practical ways to live more intentionally. Find an activity now!

  • E-NEWSLETTERS – Our newsletters help teachers learn about new and existing resources and enables us share resources for non-formal educators. Both newsletters – Quality Teacher Tools for Protecting the Planet and Reclaim Your Holidays – may be of interest to formal and non-formal educators alike. Subscribe here


  • Susan Salterberg
    Susan Salterberg
    The Way We Live Program Manager

    Susan is passionate about creating a better world for present and future generations. She has more than 35 years of combined experience in communications and environmental education work. Susan envisions a world filled with people who are focused on relationships, service, and experiences - not on "stuff."

    AT THE CEEE: Secret Lives of "Stuff"  /  Reclaim Your Holidays
    ON FACEBOOK: Reclaim Your Holidays / (319) 337-4816
CEEE In Action
Engaging students in the community