Monday, December 31, 2007

Can it be done?...

Welcome to The Small Box.

This blog project is one that I've been mulling over for quite a while and am excited to finally launch.

The goal here is to explore the process of adjusting the course of our suburban middle class life from the status quo...for a that of a more socially and environmentally responsible family.

To move from the Big Box to the small box.

Can a single income, middle class, family of four, afford, monetarily, to transition all of our purchases from conventional big box stores...with their unethically obtained low smaller, local 'small box' stores?

We aren't a family that can afford to just begin shopping at Whole Foods and buying all organic, free trade cotton clothes at full price.

But, can we afford, ethically, not to?

We are a family of Four, a mom, a dad, and 2 & 3 year old boys who live out our days in Northern California in a mid-century ranch home set in your typical post-war suburb. Our main source of income is from dad's day job...Mom stays home with the boys.

We have gradually burdened ourselves with a budget which is based on spending habits that weren't taking into consideration the impact of an immediate gratification, disposable goods, American dream lifestyle. This means our mortgage, monthly bills, grocery budget and discretionary spending are set up accommodate the cost of cheap, mass farmed, low quality, produce and disposable, unimaginative, big-box, clothing.

We'll have to be creative in order to live the life we know we need to.

The plan is for this blog to document all of the changes we make, big and small, as we slowly replace the old life, and all it's burdens, with the new. Any discoveries about things which are helpful or harmful I'll post here for your consideration.

Welcome...It's nice to have you here.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Coming Soon


Thursday, November 29, 2007

What this is all about...

We're living Small Box Style over here.
We celebrate thriftiness and handmade...
And it doesn't have much to do with financial resources.

It's a choice.

Our kids are involved in it in every way. We explain our choices to them so they have an understanding of why we live the way we do. Just like I explain why we buy organic food and recycle.

I truly believe this is one of the best gifts we can give them.

Better than any trinket.

We buy almost all of our non food/toiletry items from secondhand sources.
We get all of our fruits and veggies from our local CSA.
We make all of our holiday gifts (which we really try to keep to a minimum).
We buy our grains in bulk from our local Co-op.

When we shop at the thrift store or a yard sale I always explain that we may have kept some of those items from ending up in landfills...or that not finding what we want the instant we want it can be very good for us...or that vintage dishes and furniture are very often of higher quality than anything we would find at Target ...for 3x the price.

I don't approach it purely from a $ angle. I try to paint a bigger picture...make it about social responsibility and lifestyle, not just financial resources.
But, money, and how we view it, is a part of our lifestyle. So we do discuss it.

So far, they love the thrill of the hunt that has become a part of our thrifty life. It's all they've ever known. They are not stressed by money or budget concerns, but genuinely aware of the choice involved with each purchase.

And, for perspective, I was raised in a home of MASS Consuming and no regard for budget or the planet. I was a miserable kid who was totally preoccupied with 'stuff'.

My kids are truly happy and not overly concerned with possessions.


We're living Small Box Style over here.

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