Once on our site, reading along, in this topic or that, you may wonder how we got where we are, to the principles of an ecologically conscious minimalism/simplism that arches over everything we say we do (and we indeed do as we say)… how we became the eco-minimalists we claim to be.
Rest assured, it was not a moment’s epiphany. It was not a jackpot on the state lottery (would be money interestingly spent though, wouldn’t it?) and nor was it due to any event in our lives of cataclysmic power.
But for these now seven years of unconscious (or subconscious) preparation, self formation as individuals, as a married couple and eventually as a family of three, we have not pressed the ON button of any TV remote control, unless in a hotel room, once in a blue moon, driven by a need of reassurance of sort, that status quo still meant what it did when we had begun – more or less inconspicuously – drifting away from the mainstream. I’m sure that decision itself, of not importing mass media into our living room (oops, which room is it – the kitchen or the bedroom?) helped a lot. If nothing else, it saved us more time to spend together conversing or alone thinking.
So we did: thought and conversed. Many of the conversations being innocent chittery chat small talks, some others ossified into lofty daydreams and a few started to crystallize as life and world changing great plans. Never in the meantime have we gone to a fast-food joint for inspiration and our thoughts have always been fueled by home-cooked meals and snacks, made by either or both of us.
A weakness we do need to admit, however: coffee as such, a black and bitter drink, a benevolent stimulus has been on our side virtually every day. One to two cups of organic coffee a day, preferably of medium dark roast, has kept our passion for a healthy way of life warm since we made the move out of the city and into nature, in other words since we chose self reliance and free thinking – these two go hand in hand to us.
Since we took over the farmstead we call home now, we have acquired little and we have let go of a lot. It often surprises us how much there actually is what we don’t need. And we thought we owned little. It helps tremendously that as spouses we tend to want or not want the same things – I suppose we can justly consider ourselves a couple in maturity.
Cheryl and I have both grown critical of clutter, although we are consciously allowing some reconcilable and temporary disorder to our daughter, so she forms a sense for the art of balance. We have increasingly embraced a love for the sophistication of natural simplicity and passed it over to our more strict material culture, too, celebrating purity and genuineness. We do not believe that recycling is the ultimate answer, when the materials are unworthy of being kept in circulation. But if they are, we do our best to even upcycle them. Otherwise they rest in great peace on our compost heaps.
We came to value effectiveness over efficiency, time spent meaningfully together, so experiences over gifts of the conventional kind, especially unsolicited ones that still manage to trickle into our home every now and then (only to be given away with the same momentum, of course).
Over a year ago we pledged to not buy any more ready made clothes for ourselves. We have stuck to it. The idea is to hand create our entire wardrobe instead – of all natural, compost-safe materials.
We spend a lot of time grounding, travel on foot, by bike, by bus or by train and are continuously thinking of sustainable travel solutions. We do not own a car, however would consider establishing a car share network within a small circle of like-minded people.
That brings me to an aspect of a wholesome life we are still lacking in: those like-minded people, good neighbors, friends. This is something we would greatly cherish but would not rush at the expense of the integrity and depth of these relationships. As eco-minimalists we are hoping for few but good ones.
Have you befriended eco-minimalism by now? Or need more to sample? We’ll surely be able to serve it to you, just stick around and well, converse with us. Welcome!