November 23, 2010

The Anyway Project

As you know, we participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Day Challenge.  Each week we make records of what we’ve planted, harvested, preserved, and what other steps we’ve taken to live a more sustainable lifestyle. 

Sharon has a new challenge for her readers that is called the Anyway Project.  From what I gather, the idea behind it goes back to the argument I’ve always had with folks who don’t think that there is such a thing as global warming.  Even if there isn’t, I should be living a simple, less consumer driven, more sustainable lifestyle ANYWAY. 

The categories she has added to the project include:

Domestic Infrastructure - these are the realities of home life, including making your home work better with less, getting organized, dealing with domestic life, etc…

Household Economy: Financial goals, making ends meet, saving, barter etc…

Resource Consumption : in which we use less of stuff, and strive to live in a way that has an actual future.

Cottage Industry and Subsistence:: The things we do that prevent us from needing to buy things, and the things we produce that go out into the world and provide for others. Not everyone will do both, but it is worth encouraging.

Family and Community: Pretty much what it sounds like. How do we enable those to take the place of collapsing infrastructure?

Outside Work: Finding a balance, doing good work, serving the larger community as much as we can, within our need to make a living.

Time and Happiness: Those things without which there’s really no point.

Below are my goals for the rest of November, and since we are almost at the end of November, these goals will last through December.  I hope that the project will help to give me a little focus on my goals for our home.

Domestic Infrastructure: Clean out the laundry room.  I have a lot of our storage for paper products, linens, cleaning products, extra sewing supplies, canning jars, and just about anything else I could cram in that small space included in the room.  Hubby and I were talking about better organizing what we have in there, adding a few shelves and a rack for hanging clothes. 

This month I’d also like to clean out the freezer and make sure we are using foods in there before they go bad.  Hubby and I noticed that we still have quite a bit of venison that needs using before a deer is taken this year. 

Household economy: Lately we’ve gone a little crazy with our restaurant and entertainment budget.  We need to return to a bare bones budget for dining out so that a couple of things happen—we’ll appreciate our time out more and our daughter won’t think that going to a restaurant is a regular occurrence and we’ll save money in our budget to be used towards a vacation next year.

In this same area, I need to start working on gathering all of my tax information together so that I am not waiting until the last minute to do it. UGH!

Resource Consumption: I’ll focus on composting everything I can, even if it is cold outside and I don’t want to make a run to the compost bin.  We have the goal of keeping our heat off until December 1.  The weather shifts to very cold in our area late this week, but I’m hoping we can manage it.  We keep track of our electrical, gas, and water usage.  We were way down for October, and I’m hoping that November will be the same. 

Cottage Industry and Subsistence: I have had a goal all  year to monetize this blog.  I’m hoping that I can find a way to do that without the ads becoming intrusive or the blog becoming too commercialized.  I’m lucky to have friends who are bloggers on which to rely for their expertise.

As far as ways to prevent outside spending, I am making some gift baskets this year which include our home canned foods (jams, jellies, relishes, etc). 

Family and Community: Hubby and I haven’t been entertaining at our home as much as we normally would.  My goal is to have one playdate for our daughter and one dinner party at our home before the end of the year.

Outside Work: I’ve been doing a little better about balancing the time that I spend working from home and need to continue that.  In the next few weeks, I hope to return to a regular exercise schedule that allows me some de-stressing time in between work.  I am going to start tracking the amount of time I spend on the computer so that I can work on making my time there more efficient.  I don’t want our daughter to think that my face is stuck to the screen!

Time and Happiness: As with many other women, I am terrible at taking time for myself.  I’m going to make an effort to regularly schedule in time for me exercising, running errands, spending time with friends, etc. 

Hubby and I find that as our daughter gets older we are less likely to have date nights.  Time together and away from everything else is so important, and my goal is to have at least one date night between now and the end of the year. 

So what are your plans and goals? You can post them here or link to your blog and we can talk about it. Let us know what you are struggling with, and what you’ve accomplished. Spread the word – get a lot of people involved. It should be fun – and we can all use a little support!

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