Thursday, December 22, 2016

Sustainable Choices

    The new year is almost upon us and this often brings reflection on the year ending. Over the past few years our journey in simplicity has grown deeper and this year ending has been one of much change. It has effected all parts of our lives. The goal in this journey was not only to slow down in this ever busy world but also to live more deliberately. To not be a mindless consumer but to consider everything we bring into our home, evaluate our world view, prioritize our activities, and examine our relationships. It really is a journey and not a destination since we grow much better over time as we learn to implement new ideas instead of making many changes all at once.
    When we moved into our farmhouse in 2012 after living in a well laid out ranch home we knew that we would have to do things differently. This home lacks closets of course and the basement or attic leave a lot to be desired for storage of important items. So the purge began. This purge was not only of our own belongings but of the belongings of the previous elderly owners. We didn't want to loose the buyers of our home so we agreed to buy our current home with the understanding we would do the cleanup for them. So with blazing fire we cleaned out and burned piles of old mouse infested wool, bug invested wood and old cardboard. The purge was freeing. When we got to the end of their stuff in the sheds, the trailer, and the farmhouse basement we needed to start addressing our own belongings.
    This is were we started to evaluate more then just our stuff but also how we spent our time and who we spent it with. We have learned so much about life and death here in the process of caring for our animals and watching the wild life. We are not full time farmers by any means. We are homesteaders if you will; trying to raise some of our food and medicine. So this brings me to the deliberate sustainable choices we have made along the way.
    The choices we have made thus far:
*all products we use to clean the home or our bodies to be safe for us and our cesspool
*raising our own chicken, turkey, some vegetables, fruit, and herbs for food or medicine
*make most of our medicine, teas, toiletries, and cleaning products
*simplified our homeschool to use less paper and other materials
*simplified our meals to include only real foods and as close to zero processed food as possible(we eat mostly a paleo diet)
*spending our time building relationships and sharing skills
*using electronics as tools and not mindlessly spending our time there
*enjoying as much time as we can outside
*resting and praying daily; resting when we are ill
*choosing activities away from the home wisely
*we burn all paper trash for fuel and harvest downed trees for fuel, reuse, recycle, and compost as much as we can
*Repairing clothing when we can and only buying quality clothes when needed to replace an item in a minimal wardrobe(which has saved us in doing laundry as well)
*any gifts given would be very deliberate, wrapped in fabric or in a glass jar, and often times consumable
*and most important of all is I now teach sustainablity classes here at our farm so others can join the journey

So what choices have you made in your life on your sustainability journey?