Tag Archives: challenge

I’m Not Buying It!

I believe that one of the most important things we can do to be sustainable is live a simpler life, one without so much disposable stuff.  Now I’m putting my money where my mouth is and joining the I’m Not Buying It challenge at Greenhab.  I think this challenge will not only be good for the environment but also good for our bank account.  We’re pledging to not buy anything new for the next six months! Here are the exceptions:

  • Food: Of course we need to buy food.  However, I am going to try to limit packaged foods more than I already do, and I’m also going to limit us to one meal out per month, which I think is more than we’ll actually go out.
  • Gifts: I’m not going to limit myself for Joshua’s birthday!
  • Seeds/plants or other items that will make us more secure and independent
  • Chickens and associated purchases, but we’ll try to use salvaged materials to build their coop.
  • Baby: Joshua needs gdiaper refills, disposable diapers for daycare, and I may need to pick up membranes for my pump, etc. 

Here are some of the actions I’m taking to make this pledge work:

  • Get back to the library.  I’m a total book hoarder, and there’s no reason for me to purchase every single book that I read.  If it’s just a fun, quick read that I won’t want to reference later, it makes much more sense for me to go to the library.  Plus, our town library just re-opened after a major renovation, so it’s really nice.  I just discovered that I can reserve books online and though I actually did enjoy using card catalogs back in the day, I’m excited that the process has been streamlined! I reserved a book yesterday and picked it up today!
  • Visit second-hand stores.  I’ve only dabbled in them before.  I’m quite confident that Ed and I can both go without getting new clothes for the next six months, but Joshua will need new clothes.  There is a great second-hand baby store so I’ll have to hit it up.  Plus by the time summer’s here, Joshua can just wear a diaper!

I’m not really concerned about reining in our spending elsewhere.  We’re actually pretty good at living frugally, but I like that this challenge is going to push us further.



Filed under Home, Living from Scratch, Sustainable Living

Simple Success

I set my simple goals back in August for Elsie’s challenge and since 2011 is almost here, I’m reporting on my success.

  1. Start Knitting Again: This has been a difficult goal since my hands always seem to be busy with Joshua, work, making dinner or picking up, and when they’re not busy I’ve got them to the keyboard.  I did start a hat for Joshua but haven’t gotten more than a few rows done.  However, I just joined the newly organized Stitch Craft Club at my school and I’ll be able to attend at least once a month, so that’s better than nothing! I’m really excited about the club and it’s open to both faculty and students.  I’m hoping to learn a little more there and get motivation to finish my projects!
  2. Learn More About Chickens: I just received my copy of Chick Days by Jenna Woginrich (of Cold Antler Farm fame) and have been reading it when I get moments.  I’ve already instructed Ed that he is to build a chicken coop for me for my 30th birthday in March and I’m planning to get chickens this spring.  I still need to pick out varieties and decide how many to get!
  3. Go to Bed Early: This has been difficult for me, since I’m so busy with work and Joshua that my only time to get things done online and around the house is at night.  Still, I’ve mostly been able to get to sleep by 10, so I’ll consider that a success. 
  4. Blog Weekly: I’m doing my best! My cookie swap here at Farmer’s Daughter is in full swing (see the side bar!), my Breastfeeding Diaries posts are running weekly, and I’ve even managed to update Joshua’s baby book blog on a regular basis.

I’d say I’m doing pretty well, especially since I’m now back at work full time! Just don’t expect me to get the dishes done.  Did you join in this challenge? How are you doing?


Filed under Home, Living from Scratch, Sewing, Sustainable Living

Setting Simple Goals

Thanks to Country Girl for tipping me off to this! Elsie at A Beautiful Mess has put forth this challenge of setting and achieving simple goals before the end of 2010.

Here are Elsie’s guidelines:

  1. choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish. 
  2. do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example… instead of “lose 10 pounds”, choose something like “eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day”.  positive actions instead of just the end result! 
  3. choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! they can be daily, weekly or one time experiences. 
  4. choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! it can be a small or large reward. 
  5. blog your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year! 

I really need this.  After having Josh, it seems that everything I enjoyed as hobbies (well, besides blogging) has been put on hold.  That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but I’m missing all the fun things I used to do, even though Josh and I do fun things together now.  So here are my goals:

  1. Start knitting again.  I have pretty purple yarn that I bought last fall to make myself a scarf and hat.  I have lots of blue and green yarn that I bought to make things for Josh, too.  I’m going to work on my purple scarf and a hat and (thumb-less) mittens for Josh.  Reward: My new purple scarf, of course!
  2. Learn more about chickens.  I’ve been talking about getting chickens for a few years now.  I need to read a few books about them in preparation for getting them next spring.  I SWEAR I’m going to get them next spring! Reward: Something from Etsy, maybe with a chicken theme, limit $20.
  3. Go to bed early.  My friends on Facebook and Twitter will tell you how little sleep I’ve been getting lately.  Since I’ll be going back to work in two weeks and will be getting up at 5:30, I really NEED to get my rest.  I’m setting a bedtime of 9pm on weeknights.  (This may interfere with all my other goals!)  Reward: New warm and cozy jammies after 3 weeks of getting to bed early
  4. Blog weekly.  I know that’s not really a lofty goal, considering I used to blog multiple times each day.  Again, going back to work is going to be tough, so I’m setting a goal of posting here once a week (don’t worry, I have guest posts lined up… and YOU can contribute if you’d like to!) and at Josh’s baby blog once a week, in addition to my new blogging gig at a soon-to-be-launched site.  So really, that’s 3 posts each week.  Reward: The satisfaction of knowing I achieved this goal, and interaction with all of my dear friends online!

I’m excited about this challenge! But if you’ll excuse me now, it’s my 9:00 bedtime.  Unless, of course, I start tomorrow…

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Filed under Home, Living from Scratch

Challenge Posts!


Thanks so much to those who participated in my first challenge! Be sure to check out all the posts for a wealth of information!

Laura wrote about educating her son in Of seeds and water and environmental things.

Old Novice chose to educate her blog readers in her post Plastic garbage patches all over the oceans (with great videos!).

Rob wrote about his mom and his friend Martin taking baby steps in his post.

TaraChristiane taught the No Impact Man curriculum for a homeschool group, and reported on it here and here.

I chose to educate my son, and wrote about our first nature walk.

I think Earth Day is the perfect time to share these posts because they demonstrate that we can learn about the environment everyday!

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Filed under Sustainable Living

I Challenge YOU!

Next week, April 11-17, is National Environmental Education Week.  As an environmental science teacher, it would be easy for me to participate normally.  I’m on maternity leave, so I started thinking about it… You don’t need to be a teacher in a formal school setting to participate in National Environmental Education Week.  In fact, I think informal education can have the same impact, if not bigger, when it comes to environmental issues.  So…

I’ve decided to host my very first challenge at Farmer’s Daughter!!! I challenge YOU to participate in National Environmental Education Week.  At some point during the week of April 11-17, educate someone about the environment.  It doesn’t have to be fancy! You can work with your kids, your significant other, friends, or even pledge to educate yourself! Then write a blog post about it and send me the link, and I’ll share the links here on my blog.

I don’t have a cool button to put on your blog, but if someone with some skills (and without a 3 1/2 week old baby to take up your time) wants to make one up, please share! The real winner of the challenge will be the planet, so spread the word!!!  Update: Thanks to Rob for the button at the top of this post!!!

Email your link to AbbieR31081 AT aol DOT com, or leave a comment here, by April 19 to be included in my post.


Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

Reducing Food Waste

I’ve signed up for Crunchy Chicken’s Food Waste Reduction Challenge this year, which starts today.  Though I’ve participated in the past, I’m going to attempt to do a better job of actually keeping track of how much food gets wasted, as opposed to just keeping a list of what gets tossed.

Why be sure not to waste food? Well, it will save you money, reduce the methane (a greenhouse gas) released by decomposing food in a landfill or in the compost, and also save on the energy it takes to ship the food to you.

Are you playing along? Don’t forget to go sign up!


Filed under Food, Sustainable Living