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Full Disclosure January 8, 2011

Posted by jaboak in Introduction, jaboak.
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I want to start off my blogging on ‘boaktree’ with complete honesty.

We are trying to share our ideas and explorations through a year, and likely our lifetime while trying to leave a smaller ecological ‘footprint’ on the earth.

So in the interest of full disclosure…  my job title is “marketing coordinator”.  The purpose of my job is sell more stuff. Stuff being our buzz word for the excess material wealth that we believe North American’s inundate ourselves with and in most cases put a net drag on our environment with.

By environment I mean the ecosytem around us, the homes we live in, and the bio-systems that are us.  To me this connection is at the heart of the “challenge”.  It is the admonition that we (not just humans, but me, my wife, our children) are apart of, and can impact our environment.  And that very environment we live in has enormous impacts on us.

Our family, the “boaktree” is not exempt from having more things than we need; but thanks to my diligent, stuff hating wife (I love you DW), we try to keep things of need, quality, and that bring us enjoyment.

I won’t contribute nearly as many practical things to our blog as my wife. She is the main labourer and manager of our busy home, and hence experiences, and applies real world solutions that have a less negative impact on our environment.  Solutions to living life that are sometimes innovative, sometimes time honoured, and often a combination of the two.

And though I won’t contribute any green recipes that emphasize the ethical treatment of food (those won’t really even come from my wife, unless she gets into explaining why she chooses not to eat meat) I hope that I will be able to contribute some ideas that become food for thought.



A Beautiful Year January 8, 2011

Posted by boaktree in Introduction.
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First post…..here we go.  I meant to start this blog on January 1st, but while my intentions are always wonderful, my follow through is sometimes not…..

I guess I should start with why we’re here. The main purpose of this blog is to document The Challenge my family has taken on for 2011.  Okay, I’ll be honest, its real purpose is to entice me to document The Challenge – remember that previous comment about follow though?  Yeah, blogging on a regular basis is totally on my list of to-do’s for 2011.  I will not procrastinate…..lol But back to the point of this space….

The idea for The Challenge came about one evening while my lovely husband and I were talking….and I was so excited by the idea I declared “we should totally blog about it!” And so here we are.

The Challenge….

We aren’t going to buy anything new that isn’t a necessity (read food, meds, dental, vehicle maintenance -there’s a detailed list here…..) for the year. And the things that are on that list are pretty minimum…..there will be a lot of cooking from scratch etc….the grocery store is not a free for all. There are more rules too.  Anything we determine we do really really super need/want that falls outside of this category we will have to come up with the funds for outside of our normal income. This means selling something we have or made, gift money etc. If at all possible the item we buy has to be used or handmade.  At the very least it has to be responsibly made.   We are also going to be following a mad budget as we need to start saving money to buy a home.

The point of The Challenge (obviously) is to reduce our impact on our planet.   It is also to teach our children the real value of stuff. It’s all about need vs want. It’s about the fact that life isn’t about stuff – it’s about people and experiences.

I’ll use this space to share ideas about ways we try to do this…and anything else that suits my fancy to write about.

I’ll let you in on a secret.  My biggest hope for this year is that it completely changes the way we live our lives. I don’t really see it as a challenge. It’s just a reason to live as we should. Be more conscious of our actions. Reduce our impact.
I love frugality. This is my dream.

This is going to be a Beautiful Year.