Monday, January 31, 2011


My favorite way to acquire the things my family wants and needs is to seek it out for free.  I have no problem asking, since we end up giving everything away when we are done with it anyways.  The girls clothing, house-wares, books, magazines, craft supplies, and toys are usually what we receive.  Since I am the first of many of my friends to have children I don’t usually repost the clothing and toys because they get passed along with all the other paraphernalia that we receive from birthday’s and Christmas. 

By repost, I mean on Freecycle and Full Circles groups in our area.  These are Yahoo groups that anyone can join that are all over Canada and the world.  We are fortunate to have an amazing group in our area that reposts out quality items.  This past month I received a bunch of vegetarian magazines so we can cook meatless meals at least 3 times a week, a box full of juice glasses that not only will be used for breakfast but also crafts, and a snowsuit that Hannah will fit into next year.

I wish I had more to offer, but since our big move last May we are all out.  At that time I was able to rid an extra bookcase, fish tank and stand, books, a freestanding bronze hand towel rack, a computer, desk etc.  For our friends we were able to distribute a bunch of toys, boxes of baby and toddler clothing, and baby equipment. 

I love knowing that we can keep passing items on so that more items do not have to be produced in a factory, packaged, shipped, and marked-up. 

Happy Freecycling!


Sunday, January 30, 2011


For someone that loathes shopping, I sure do a lot of it, although it may not be the most conventional form of shopping.  Instead of hitting the malls, outlets and online stores, I tend to end up in Salvation Army, Value Village, and searching through the online ads on and  This month, I was horrible at sticking to our budget and splurged on a few things for our family.  Although I bought nothing new, I was still able to get the girls some things that have already brought a lot of fun and happiness to our lives, while not paying ‘new’ prices or promoting senseless consumerism.

Here’s someone else's surplus that became our treasures:

 Everything here cost less than $20.

What sent us over budget were the skis, boots, and helmet for Jill; snowboard and boots for Hannah; and a snowboard and boots for myself.  I haven't been able to get out on the bunny hill to try with Hannah since I don't have a helmet yet and very little energy by the late afternoon.  I just think they are great investments since we will be living here a long time, and guests can try them out as well.  We purchased them at Play it Again and off Kijiji to a total of approximately $380.  

Friday, January 28, 2011


To add to the list of unbelievably easy food products you can make yourself: Yogurt. With about 20 minutes of work and a gallon of homogenized milk, I was able to make a gallon of yogurt. So instead of paying $2.99 for about 750ml of yogurt I paid $5.49 for 4000ml.

The process is quite simple. You need a gallon of homogenized milk that you bring almost to a boil (90 C – use a thermometer), and then cool it down in the pot in some cool water to about 55 C. Now you stir in a small cup of existing yogurt, and mix very well. Pour the mixture into sterilized jars to be placed in a cooler filled with 55 C water for 3 hours.


Just place it in the refrigerator and it should stay for about a month. Save a bit for the next time you make it and you don’t have to buy yogurt again! It seems a bit labourious but is actually fun. I had a good time at least (me = boring person apparently). It is however, something that needs attention while you are making it; not ideal to do with a crazy 2.5 year old at your feet.  Give it a try and tell me how it worked out.

Also, you can add a cup or two of sugar to the cooled, pre-bottled, mix to sweeten it. We were also thinking of adding berries to the bottoms to make our own ‘fruit on the bottom’ yogurt. We are going to try making yogurt pops in the freezer for the kids. We’ll let you know how it turns out.

For a very detailed way of making it (where we got it from) visit:

Food Waste Friday

So this is all we wasted this week. Not too bad this week, we keep getting better. The yellow things are the hard taco shells we tried to make that turned out terribly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Take Out Food

So, I have managed to eat out a couple of times since we started the compact. My first go at eating take out food without using any sort of wrapper/container was at Lucky Star Chinese Food in Orleans. I usually get a combination plate when we get Chinese food at work, so using one of those split up dinner tray things was going to be an easy option. I also had a small Tupperware for my egg roll and the plum sauce. That's the easy part. Next came my coworkers realizing that I was going to go to the restaurant and ask them to put my food in my own containers. To some of them, this was a patently ludicrous concept. They thought I was an idiot and that the Chinese food guy would laugh at me. I thought he would be the smart businessman and realize he was saving a few cents by not giving me the containers. So after all the joking and harassment by my colleagues I went to Lucky Star and ordered our meals (can't really pre-order when they don't have your containers). The guy seemed quite confused when I proudly presented my Tupperware to him and asked for my meal in it rather than his Styrofoam containers. I had to run it by him a couple of times and he seemed quite happy to put everything in the containers I supplied. I think when he went back into the kitchen they had a little laugh at my expense, but whatever, I got the food and I am pretty sure I got more than I would have in the Styrofoam container. Back at work we all had a good laugh about me being me and doing this stuff, but it gave me the opportunity to show some of them that it really isn't that hard to do a few little things that make a difference, if only a tiny one.
Not too bad! Ignore colleagues rubbish everywhere.

My next try was Subway. I thought this would be an easy one, and it was. The 'Sandwich Artist' was quite excited and enthusiastic about the whole no packaging concept. He asked me a few questions about our compact while he made our subs; it felt good to have someone in the food service industry think our project was cool.

I'm sure that most fast food places would be pretty willing to accommodate a no packaging request by their customers. Think of how much waste would be prevented, overhead costs cut to the business and the potential savings that customers could realize through a little extra effort on the part of the consumer.

Give it a try!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Compacting my Inbox

How many emails are too many?  I had 3505 emails in my inbox, and a whopping 2183 I had not even read.  The important messages got read and sometimes even those got lost in the clutter.  There are 24 messages sent from 26/04/2007-21/09/2009 that apparently were important enough to keep since the last time I cleaned my hotmail account out.  They included photos, and contact info which I needed to transfer (finally) over to my address book.
            In the past I have been a sucker for free samples, coupons, daily deal promotions, online shopping and updates to sporting events/concerts all over the place.  When I do happen to purchase an item, as well as a receipt I receive large amounts of advertising sent to my inbox.  Yeah, more excuses to shop!  In the end, instead of saving money I spend more, and have not only cluttered up my inbox but also my life.  Now I feel the need to head off to Toronto, Montreal or even Disney (gasp!) to enjoy all these experiences.
            So last week it was my challenge to rid my email of the evil consumer driving advertising and be free of the “life” that corporations like to tell us we need.  I am no longer going to be a sucker, and I will embrace the “loser” in me.  Are going to lose out by not having the next best toy, newest book, or going on the far from home adventure?  By the end of the year we will know for sure, but this little adventure we have embraced has already made us feel more content with our lives.

All of the corporations I unsubscribed to:

Disney Destinations
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Hello- I am afraid to open them anyways since I will want to go!
Boston Pizza
Direct Buy
ING Direct
Mountain Equipment Coop
Chapter’s Indigo- hardest one to remove
Pull Ups
Old Navy
Choice Hotels
Toys R Us
Hockey Canada Online Store
Studio Jade
Today’s Parent Magazine
Roger’s Magazine service

Tara Medium
Deal of the Day- Red Flag Deals
Purina/My kitten- to get free samples of cat food
The New Magazine City
Dish Promotions-Live4MeTV??
Career Training-CDI college
ProActive Solution
Special Offers?
Dollars for Gold
Online Contests Canada
Online Jobs
Restaurant Rewards
Pet Priority
Explore Talent
Similac Club
NPD Research
Brand Sampler
Senior People Meet?!
The Very Best Baking Team
Jet Bingo
Bingo Cabin
CS Johnson and Canada
Orchard Bank
Sparkle Horoscope
Lasik MD

Ottawa Sport and Social Club
Girl Guides of Canada- Ontario Council
Gymboree Play and Music Classes
Canada’s Wonderland
 Ottawa School of Art
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts-ticketmaster –thomas the Tank Engine for Jill and Luca?:(
Hockey Canada
Frozen in Ottawa..Dan’s ticket update
Broadway Across Canada
Backstreet Boys Newsletter J
National Arts Centre
Ski Vorlage
Starr gymnastics
Cumberland Farmer’s market
Rugby Canada
Just for Laughs
Canadian Cancer Society

2 hours in (not all at one time/I need to pace) and down to the end it took me over 7 days of sporadically going at it.  Never again will it get infiltrated by corporations again!

I have to admit that unsubscribing from the activities was the hardest.  I kind of felt like I was hoarding the memories of all the things we have done with our kids in the past.  It’s like whenever I would get a Disney Cruise Line Promotion it would remind me of our amazing trip, taking Jill to Gymboree, Girl Guide Camps with Hannah, or going to a Sens game with Adam once in awhile…is this normal, does this happen to anyone else?  Maybe I could just look through our photos insteadJ


Friday, January 21, 2011

Erin's Low Impact Grocery Shopping and Food Waste Friday

My headache lasted for 8 hours following my first ever real experience with a no packaging diet.  For anyone interested in following our path, DO NOT try with a grumpy 21/2 year old at nap time, and a 7 year old who would rather be snowboarding!  It was horrible trying to find local food, trying to read the fine print, translating it to English since I live in a French province, and making sure we could afford it with the two of them in tow. 
We try to keep our grocery budget around $100 per week, but many weeks we are over.  In the past, it has usually gone over due to convenience on the go snacks.  Hannah’s schedule consists of 2 days a week of back to back: school and gymnastics.  Therefore, we pack a variety of snacks to sustain her through the day.  When I say sustain, I am not including the chocolate sugar coated granola bar with fake marshmallows inside…that’s just for her mental health.  When eating as a group and everyone else has a fun snack, it is easy to feel left out.  I think we are regularly going to have to send her with excess strawberries, watermelon, and blueberries to share with her friends instead. 
What was interesting was that when I put her in charge of the shopping, and had a treasure hunt, she made some surprising decisions.  One decision we came to together, that local food was not something we could handle at the beginning of January with no preparation from the season before.  We decided that no packaging was a challenge on its own, and the local can be a challenge in the spring till the end of the year, although we will keep searching and do the best we can.  She also decided that even though she absolutely loves Fruit by the Foot (which we never buy, and she hasn’t had one in sooo long-her words) that she would be happy (with a frown on) to try making fruit roll ups from scratch.  I have no idea how to do this…and am devilishly hoping she will forget for a few weeks.  I reminded her that she is allowed to cheat twice, once before June and once from Sept-Dec and get to buy one snack item that she wants.  Let us pray that it’s not those disgusting gushers!
We made progress on our first trip but as you can tell from the picture there is some packaging that we are in the process of figuring out how to avoid. Although, the small bags in the left hand corner are small composteable bags to get your bulk food in.  Plus I purchased a few of their reusable bags that we will have forever.  

The next challenges are to figure out a local farm that can supply us our chicken, milk and cheese.  Thankfully we can purchase local pork and beef at the grocery store with our own containers.  Plus, I am not sure why I didn’t look for local apple cider instead of the tetra packs of juice?  But remembered the next time
One of our friend’s Jo has graciously offered to pick up local eggs when she visits her friend.  I need to drop off our egg cartons so she can trade them at pick up.

Here are some more pics…it’s getting easier each time we go…

2nd Attempt was much easier,
and I was alone 
3rd attempt even better, picked up
ingredients to make our own yogurt
Sun chips come in a compostable bags
and Hannah loves them.  As a trade
off for her new eating habits, she can
automatically just put them in the cart,
no need to ask us:)

As for Food Waste Friday I am happy to announce that we only had one piece of bread spoil, and a few muffins.  Those muffins however were made in a rush and I mixed up the baking soda and baking powder- Adam didn't tell me they tasted disgusting till only a few were left.  Sweet, sweet man I have.  Plus he made croutons with the ends of all the bread this week.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Adam's Low Impact Grocery Shopping

My first couple of attempts at grocery shopping under the oppressive law of the compact went fairly well. The first time, I went to get vegetables and fruit only. I went to a Metro in town intending to buy local as much as possible and try to avoid any stupid plastic on the vegetables. I was quite skeptical of being able to find any local vegetables or fruit, in January in Quebec.  After looking around for a while I realized there was actually a good bit of things grown locally (“In Quebec” the signs said, so that’s going to be ‘local’ enough for my purposes, for now). The cucumber, cabbage and romaine were grown in Quebec. Who would have known that some forward thinking person would have the good sense to grow vegetables in a cold as hell part of the world; good work comrades. Anyways, I also got some carrots from “The USA”, and a tomato from…I don’t remember. We’ll say Mexico, or wherever that’s not Canada or the States. Pleasantly, all of this delicious produce was wrapping and package free. Success! Sort of. I got to the cash and realized, like a douche, I left my re-useable sac in the car. I asked the cashier if I could just use the hand basket to bring it to the car and she told me no problem. As I was getting to the car somebody called me on my cell phone and I put the basket in the car as I was distracted, and just got in the car and drove away with their basket (we’re not buying ‘new’ stuff this year, so does stolen stuff count? Just kidding I brought it back).

The next round of groceries went considerably worse. I went with Hannah after her gym training, when she was very hungry, and she managed to convince me to buy a bunch of items on the grounds that ‘its recyclable packaging, Dad’. So, I suffered temporary brainwash at the hands of my seven year old daughter. I am a sucker. She convinced me to buy Lucky Charms cereal and boxes of crackers, as well as nestle quick syrup and frozen concentrate juice (who the hell knew – other than Erin – that those were not completely recyclable?). So when I got home a large majority of my shopping was vetoed. I agreed to return the cereal and crackers, due to the plastic wrap they are in, inside the boxes, but could not return the juice and the syrup for the shame I would have suffered returning 90% of a grocery trip’s items. Note to self: child will trick you, keep on your toes.

Hopefully I will learn from my frightfully disgraceful second attempt at groceries.

Score 1 out of 2.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Canadian Family Compact: How long can we get a package of disposable diaper...

How are we going to get this child potty trained?!  She is driving us crazy.  We have a stack of cloth diapers that we use sporadically, butt cloths, and a container of Monkey Doodlez Wipe Cubes.  In our possession right now are two packages of size four diapers too.  I wish we could give up the disposables cold turkey but I am thinking more along the lines of never buying them again…we do have family that baby-sit for us a lot and I know that they would not be too thrilled if we showed up with cloth diapers at their door.
I was completely floored when one of my good friends Emily from university showed up for a visit with this huge bag of cloth diapers to last the week.  She was staying with various friends during her holiday and needed to repack almost everyday.  That is dedication.  I am not sure what the brand and was or the whole contraption that kept her sane was, but I was impressed.  It is hopefully near the end of our diaper days but I want to get the info out about her system in the near future. 
In the end we are not going to invest in anything more for our child to have the luxury of not using the toilet, and we will have to become more in tune with her bathroom needs.  It is going to be a challenge as we want be motivated to ski this winter as a family and she will be layered with her thick tights, sweat pants, socks, and snow pants.  My thought is to put her cloth diaper on, then a disposable on top in case there is a leakage.  I’m not sure if I had been laundering them improperly or that she just pees rivers at one time.  The thing is her cloth ones leak a lot.  Does anyone else have this problem and what have you done to resolve it?!
So here we go and hopefully my husband remembers the compact when he is trying to wipe down a squirming, kicking, and screaming toddler!  She is already in the habit of stripping naked, peeing her bed, and putting a diaper back on to have a BM…but we still love herJ

Monday, January 17, 2011

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Garbage bags must be black for a reason.  It is a black wall so that we are not reminded of all the crap we throw away.  Colin Beaven, aka No Impact Man, talked about this phenomenon in his book.  He actually sat down and picked through his garbage the first week of his experiment.  I was really not into pulling out all our garbage a few weeks ago when we started this project, since it was the week after Christmas and we had lots. I know our bag was filled of mostly of clear plastic.  The wrappers off the board games, the bags the duplo came in, cracker bags, cheese and meat wrapping, candy cane wrappers, I believe are the “bulk” of our garbage.  Plus the bathroom bag full of heavy diapers. 
I did, however, put a clear plastic bag under the sink in the kitchen, so we could see what item we were throwing out.  Although, when Adam took out the garbage he replaced my clear bag with a small black bag and put my clear bag into a large black bag!  Poof, the garbage that we could see was now gone from our sight.  Well, I guess I came across a little irritated, but I asked if we could change the routine a bit.  We are now using bags that are not recyclable at the moment and hopefully we will have less and less garbage as this project goes on.
            In our laundry room, we have a pile of plastic bags that I hoard.  They include bagel, English muffin, sandwich bread, milk, cereal, fruit/veggie and cracker bags that we have received with our grocery purchases.  We also have recyclable grocery store and bulk barn bags.  So for our challenge, I organized all these bags and now have a place to put everything we are baking and freezing.

We wash and reuse our bulk barn bags for each visit; we need to drop off our milk bags to a local project that builds sleep pads for children in Haiti; and our grocery store bags will be dropped off at the food bank like we have done in the past.

To never having to change the garbage again: Cheers!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Food Waste Friday

At least the Candies didn't go to waste!

Every Friday we are going to join the “Food Waste Friday” Bloggers and post what food is inedible.  I feel frustrated when food goes bad.  We work really hard to pay for food; we have a combustion engine transportation system that gets it to our stores, and wonderful grocers who work hard on supplying the food.  It takes a lot of energy to get food from the ground to our plates, and it bothers me that as the last link on the chain of command that we have failed to get it to our family. 

The Frugal Girl at invites us to share our waste, so we will be motivated not to waste it.  Please share your gripes, so that you will be motivated to eat those leftovers, cook appropriate sized meals, and not let those veggies get ignored in the bottom drawer.

Here is what went bad the two weeks after Christmas…this is so embarrassing: 

Always tentative to try a new cheese, this is why!

Bought the smallest Eggplant to introduce it to the kids
 and never got around to finding a kid friendly recipe.
I need to find one that hides it!

There were 3 crusts that could have
made yummy croutons :(

Although, in our defense we ate A LOT of Christmas dinner leftovers!  

The girls were begging us to not have mashed potatoes on their plates!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2nd Round of Christmas Gifts and Driving

Last week before school started back, Hannah and I worked really hard on getting the teacher’s gifts ready. Originally Hannah had baked a bunch of cookies, but left them in the car on the last day of school in December.  In the end, we gave those cookies to her aunts and uncles in addition to the ornaments she made.  She decided to make candles for her teachers and I knit a couple dishcloths to wrap them in. 
Candle making has turned into something that we actually enjoy doing in the kitchen together.  We use an old pot, a tin can, left over wax, the tea light holders and the old metal wick tabs from my Partylite candles, some old Timmy’s cups, drops of rosemary essential oil, and old crayons to dye the candles.  The only thing we purchased was the wicks, (which falls into the craft section of ok brand new items).  I was in the past a “Candlelite Addict” but since the compact I have not purchased any brand new candles.

Here is Hannah’s first candle she made:

And here are the one’s she made for her teacher’s:

And here are the tea lights we made for their Godparent’s and to replenish my out of stock cupboard:

I was nervous having Hannah home from school for two weeks but it turned out great.  If I was feeling more confident I would be very interested in home schooling her.  Our lives are back to a chaotic pace (for me) which involves a lot of driving.  Sigh..

Driving.. it hurts my neck/shoulder and am fearful to drive at night….therefore,
One of the next things on my compact to do list is start to monitor our kilometers and the amount of gas we get per liter.  We are on a tight budget but I feel absolutely guilty about the vehicle I drive, the mileage, and the reasons why we drive.  My friend Karen had mentioned at one time having her wedding favors in the form of Carbon Credits.  In a future post after monitoring I would like have the amount that it would cost for these credits and more information about them.  If we want to live a more “compacty” life in my view it means decreasing the amount of kilometers and time spent driving.

 Have a great evening!

Erin and Hannah

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Original Compact

This is the original Compact summary that we are following with some personal modifications that suit our situation a little better. We will be following all these ideas and adding a few f our own, which we will post soon.

Here it is:

January 1st  was the start of our 12-month flight from the consumer grid. The Compact has several aims (more or less prioritized below):

1) to go beyond recycling in trying to counteract the negative global environmental and socioeconomic impacts of U.S. consumer culture, to resist global corporatism, and to support local businesses, farms, etc. -- a step, we hope, inherits the revolutionary impulse of the Mayflower Compact

2) to reduce clutter and waste in our homes (as in trash Compact-er)

3) to simplify our lives (as in Calm-pact)

So, here goes for the rules:

·  First principle - don't buy new products of any kind (from stores, web sites, etc.)

·  Second principle - borrow or buy used.

·  A few exceptions - using the "fair and reasonable person" standard -- i.e., you'll know in your heart when you're rationalizing a violation:
  • food, drink, and necessary medicine (no elective treatments like Viagra or Botox)
  • necessary cleaning products, but not equipment (don't go out and buy the Dyson Animal, for example).
  • socks and underwear (utilitarian--non-couture or ornamental)
  • pajamas for the children
·  Utilitarian services (plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, veterinarians, dog/house-sitters, fire/paramedics, dry cleaners, house cleaners, etc.) -- Support local and encourage used parts (rebuilt transmission, salvaged headlight unit, etc.)

·  Recreational services (massage, etc.) & local artisanal items- Good sources for gifts, but should not be over-indulged in for personal gratification

·  Charitable contributions (SevaHeifer, and the like) - an even better source for gifts

·  Plants and cut flowers - Whenever possible, cultivate from free cuttings or seeds. Ok in extreme moderation when purchased from local businesses (i.e., not the Walmart Garden Shop)--and again, within reason

·  Art supplies - First line of attack: SCRAP. When absolutely necessary (for the professionals and talented amateurs in the group), from local businesses

·  Magazines, newspapers, Netflix - renewals only, no new subscriptions. Even better to consume online

·  V ideo rentals and downloadable music files (non-material)

So...anyone want to join us? Or, what 3 things do you think you could do/change?

Adam, Erin, Hannah and Jill

Monday, January 10, 2011

What The Hell Have I Agreed To?

I’m Adam and I used to consider myself a moderately environmentally conscious person. My wife Erin kindly blew that out the window for me. She explained this whole compact thing to me a few nights ago and told me what she thought our family could do to be more environmentally and socially conscious; to make an actual, tangible difference, even if only a small one. I was actually kind of blown away by this whole concept. My idea of environmental awareness: not being a litter bug, recycling, and turning the lights off after I leave a room, seemed like they were just the no-brainers that everybody should be able to do unconsciously. This was the real deal. This was going to take a lot of sacrifice, effort, planning (my skill level < 1), and commitment.

I work a lot, so I am going to have to do a hell of a lot of planning to keep my part of the commitment. I have to say, one of my biggest worries going into this is the amount of time it’s going to take to do this stuff. Working 40 hours a week plus overtime, on top of having two kids and a 40 minute commute has thus far been enough as far as I was concerned. Now I have to spend a good bit of the valuable left over time making sure I live within this new “adventure” we are committing ourselves to. I think it will be fulfilling and will actually make a small difference in the big picture, but I know it will make our family stronger, smarter and better overall. I want to have my kids take a lot out of this and learn at a young age what they can do to be more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. I want to go to bed at night knowing that I put in enough effort to pay back mother nature, if only a bit, for all she has given us.

I’ll do my best to explain what going on with our compact and how I’m doing, as well as how the family is doing.

So, back to the original question: What the hell have I agreed to? I don’t really know yet. I think there will be a big learning curve but I’m hoping it will become kind of second nature after a while. I hope to be able to answer this question by the end of the year. In the mean time…I’ll tighten my belt and see how things go.


Ps: I don’t think the cat seems to give a shit about any of this (he’s a bit of an asshole sometimes).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A New Kind of Adventure!

A new adventure is about to start in our family. It’s not about preaching to our children how we need to take care of the land, air and water that belongs’ to the earth; now it’s about taking it a step further and actually practicing above and beyond what we have grown accustomed to believing is the norm.  It is a new year, another Christmas has flown by, and my hope is that our family will work hard together to make better sustainable choices.
I absolutely love being together with our families, sharing meals, the excitement on my children’s faces when Santa has come, and the beautiful snow.  Traditions are my favorite part of Christmas, the new and the old.  I love the experience of Christmas but loath the “stuff”.  The wrapping paper, the packaging, the excess of toys both for the kids and us, the driving, and the amount of left over food have really clouded my desire to celebrate over the years since my children were here to celebrate.  Christmas 2011 is 12 months away, but I am hoping by that time that we have learned enough to change the conspicuous consumption part of Christmas and fill it with truly rewarding experiences and gifts that our families will truly remember the spirit.
        To get there, is the challenge.  Last year I participated in the Compact.  I was a mediocre compacter.  I tried, but found it really challenging on my own.  I felt different, left out, and isolated in my journey from my family and friends.  Even though I was able to “meet” fellow compacters through the web, who gave lots of tips, outlooks and encouragement; I need someone close by who would embrace this lifestyle with me.  This year I breached the subject with my husband and he has agreed to join me, as well as our children.  We are going to chronicle our life’s little adventures to get to a place that we will be proud of.  I know it may irritate a few people along the way to be different but my goal is to inspire more people, to go against the grain and search for our true values.
 A few days ago we started our preliminary list of challenges.  There are a few categories that we will focus on in our day to day lives, plus more in depth ones that will require more research.  We are still sorting out the parameters of the guidelines to keep us focused and excited about the project.  We need your feedback, ideas, and understanding.   We are all unique, have different experiences, family backgrounds, expectations, culinary skills, and budgets etc.  Let us know what your family does and it might be something that we could do too!

Erin  aka:Mom