You may have noticed that our lifestyle is a hybrid. We’re almost completely between urban minimalism and homesteading, with some just-plain crunchiness thrown in. We noticed this when we began researching off-the-grid living and saw that the other people doing it–and there are quite a few–are almost exclusively homesteaders. We have not found a single OTG house in a subdivision. That led us to coin the term “suburbanalism,” to describe our lifestyle–minimalism and green living in the suburbs!
So, let’s break it down, so you can see what ideas we have borrowed from where, and why we borrowed them. Then, you can decide which ideas work for you and your family!
The crunchiness definitely came first. “Crunchy” (for those who don’t know) refers to “crunchy granola,” and it basically means natural/green living. We got started with this kind of lifestyle when we decided to breastfeed and use cloth diapers. My Internet research of these topics led me to attachment parenting, then natural parenting. Living green is really our first priority. Here are some great resources on “crunchy” living:
Next, we merged this with minimalism. We wanted to own as few possessions as possible, after meeting this couple. After a low-stress half of a summer on the boat, we pared down even more. It is crunchiness that leads us to use cast iron pans instead of Teflon; it is minimalism that leads us to own only two of them. Here are some great resources on minimalism:
Many extreme minimalists rely on eating out, or at least eating more processed foods, in order to not require as much in their kitchen. This is where we deviate. Homesteaders value self-sufficiency; there is much wrong with our nation’s food supply, and the best way to avoid the problems it causes is to eat from a different food supply. Homesteading has led us to bake our own bread, cook as much as possible from scratch, home brew, and work towards getting off the grid. We only deviate from this philosophy in the most obvious way; we don’t have a homestead! While we would love to raise animals and grow our own food, we love being able to leave our home even more. (Face it, having chickens on Moonraker just wouldn’t work!). So, we rely on local farmers to provide us with our food. Here are some resources on homesteading:
So, do some reading on your own, but don’t feel like you have to subscribe to a philosophy in its entirety. Pick and choose and find what works best for your family!