About a year ago I first read about Sharon Astyk's Riot for Austerity and posted about it on Sustainable Suburbia. I was inspired and wanted to join in, but we were prepping for our overseas trip, and as usual I already felt I had taken too much on, so I let it slide.
Can we do it? The idea is to cut down to 10% of the average use of resources in 7 areas. In the June/July issue of Grass Roots this year Asphyxia has covered how she went about doing that in the area of food (not cutting down on eating, as such, but on the resources involved in getting the food).
Future issues are going to have articles on the next 6 areas, plus there's support through the Grass Roots FB page.
Since food has been my particular focus this year - eating more local, cooking more from scratch etc (and on that subject, can I just say I've just discovered the wonders of pressure cooking and I am SOLD), it seems fated.
I always feel like I'm trying to do too much, maybe something to do with having three kids, a part-time job, running several websites and trying to write a book (I haven't blogged about it here, but that is my Big project at the moment. Around the subject of urban homesteading, but that's all I'm going to say at the moment), and maybe sell a few articles along the way... but we are all about trying to live more sustainably anyway, and somehow the idea of putting some figures around it - even if we make it a 'quiet riot' and try to cut down to say, 50% in some areas - makes things feel more doable - or at least, easier to know what we are doing and what we need to still work on.
So, I'm going to talk to my family about it. We've just switched from cheap milk to bloody expensive but far more ethical (and local) milk. We've been getting seasonal organic fruit & vegies delivered most weeks (I love this because it doesn't give me the chance to not buy vegies I don't usually cook with - I just get them and have to figure out how to use them).
Of course, all this is costing more. The dairy alone is costing us around $30 extra per week (my kids go through a LOT of milk). I read Frugavore earlier this year and have been trying to put some of her advice into practice, like buying organic chicken carcasses and beef bones to make stock with, and cooking more with legumes, like lentils and beans, using dried (the pressure cooker is going to come in handy there) rather than canned beans and chick peas.
But. Cost is still an issue. And, we want to go o/s again (this time to live for maybe half a year) in 2014, before Liam starts highschool, so... I'm hoping I can parlé that into motivation to help us cut down on other resource use. Because mostly, cutting down should cots less, not more.
Right now though, I'm off to check out the Grass Roots FB page and see who's there.