Minnesota EcoMoms-Chapter of the EcoMom Alliance

Year of Plenty
AMpSun, 27 Apr 2008 07:12:58 +000012Sunday, 16, 2008, 12:56 am04
Filed under: Sustain Your Home

Tony went to Fuller Seminary with this couple who is living a Year of Plenty with their two daughters.

Here are the guidelines they set up for their family on January 1, 2008:

Our Basic Rules of Consumption:

• Buy used products.

– Preferably from one household to another

• Make the product or grow the food item.
– Raw materials should preferably be local
– There is some flexibility with the sourcing of raw materials necessary to make the finished product

• Buy from a local producer, manufacturer or grower.
– Local is defined as generally coming from Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.
– In order to be a qualified manufacturer or grower we must as a family visit/tour the location of manufacturing and meet the people who are making the goods at least once during the year. We will do our best to learn about their way of life, hopes, dreams, and challenges.
– This means that there are some products and food items that will be limited seasonally or not available at all.

Other considerations:
• We’re allowed to use everything that is in the house and yard as of the beginning of January 1, 2008.
• We will do our best to minimize the consumption of electricity, water, and fuel.
• We will seek to minimize waste products going to the dump by composting everything possible and recycling everything possible.
• We will dine out only at local restaurants and coffee shops. No large national or regional chain establishments.
• When eating with others at a party or public event there is flexibility.

• Step back from the massive consuming passions around us that lead us to want the new and the next thing. We find that too often we are led to believe that our hope and joy can be found in these items.

• Minimize contribution to the cultural assumption that all things are disposable, and that once they have lost the shine of newness they have outlived their usefulness.

• To valuate things in ways other than dollars. To form a new economy of consumable goods in our lives anchored in caring relationships with people we know.

• To integrate our lives and find more joy in the everyday.

• To better shape and raise our children as children of the Kingdom of God.


Beyond living green is, living blue. Blue is also green, but it encompasses the root of the problem in America, which is the affliction of affluenza. I was wowed to know that disposable products are intentionally manufactured to be replaced in 6 to 12 months. Is that why my brand new, surprisingly affordable blender stinks to high heaven like the motor is going to die each time we run it? I thought I was just jinxed with plastic toys and items that always seemed to break. There is actually a method to the madness! They want you to replace it, that is the point. However, we can get off that treadmill of insanity and choose to NOT buy the junk.

To live beyond green and into shades of blue is to impact more than just C02 emissions but global trade and 3rd world pollution. Simply put, the blue movement is about NOT consuming and instead buying local, used, refurbished, Fair Trade or borrowed.

EcoMom Shelley, shared at the last EcoMom meeting that she is in a group that have committed to buying nothing new for 1 year. I thought, “Wow! But that is not for me.”

Another movement in San Francisco is called Compact to see how compact your spending can be.

I am inspired! I have been committed for 3 weeks. Oops! what about the 4 birthday parties? Well…I shopped at 1/2 price books, and according to the kids (who you know, don’t care), the High School Musical book and Dragonology book, were huge hits! Ooops! Daughter needs new pants. I went to Once Upon a Child and scored cute Lilly Pulitzer pants, and shirt with tags still on it!

Okay, I can do this….baby steps….one reused, refurbished, bartered, Fair Trade, or borrowed item at a time. I’ll keep you posted. By the way, I really like stuff and the Story of Stuff hit me right between my consumeristic eyes, so I know this is for me and my family.

We have plenty! Americans are 20% of the world’s population, but we consume 80% of the world’s goods. Yikes!


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[…] family on January 1, 2008: Our Basic Rules of Consumption: ??? Buy used products. – Preferably fhttps://mommytsunami.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/year-of-plenty/Agency Report Cards 2007 AdWeekWelcome to our 25th annual Agency Report Cards, in which we assess […]

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