Thursday, May 24, 2007


Hello all! We are Amy and Jacob, a young couple about to become a family of three. We're creating this blog as part of our commitment to live more self-sufficiently and sustainably. We hope to use it as a means to talk about what we've done and what we plan to do, and to share our efforts with others who share our goals. We hope that by so doing, we'll be able to give other people inspiration to make changes in their own lives. This is a personal blog for us, and we reserve the right to gripe about our bad days or coo over our cats/baby if that's what's on our minds, but the primary intended thrust is the practical details of a shifting mindset and lifestyle.

This seems like a good time to explain some of the reasoning behind our goal-setting and our thrust for greater self-reliance and sustainability. Essentially, we believe that the world in general, and we as citizens of the US in particular, face a number of very grim challenges in the near future, many or most of which bid well to seriously disrupt, if not destroy, the lifestyle to which we have been accustomed. That is, whether because of global warming, economic failure, energy shortage, political upheaval, war, pandemic, etc., things are going to change--probably soon, definitely uncomfortably, and probably drastically. We would prefer to choose our changes while we still have that opportunity, to test things out and see what works best for us while we still have the choice. Hence the title of the blog--we are, or are trying to, "run the changes", before we have no choices left.

We don't pretend to know when any of these problems might start seriously impacting any of us, but given that several of them are already manifest and causing real trouble both here and abroad, we don't think that a "wait and see" attitude is well-advised. We are choosing, therefore, to prepare as much as possible now, or as near as can reasonably be gotten to now without overwhelming our capacity to assimilate change.

Practically speaking, this is the drive behind greater self-reliance on our part, as well as giving us reason to support local farmers, businesses, and institutions, which have a better chance of surviving and retaining their utility in the face of large-scale collapse. Ethically speaking, it is why we choose to conserve and live in a more sustainable manner, so as to help build up institutions for a more sustainable world and to hopefully soften the blow to our society and planet. In practice, though, the practical and ethical aspects of the situation are by no means clear and distinct one from the other, nor are they in any way in conflict.

For example, we are working towards buying only local and organically raised animal products. Partly, this is because supporting and strengthening our local farmers is, in the long run, a good way of protecting our own food security interests. Partly, it's a way to get animal products that you are more confident come from animals that are/were healthy, rather than riddled with dubious chemicals and, usually, diseases. On the other hand, local and organic foods have a smaller ecological footprint than industrially raised ones that have been shipped over long distances. And finally, we are ethically opposed to the abominable treatment that factory-farmed animals are subject to, and feel that we can no longer condone those practices when viable alternatives exist. Some of these reasons are practical, and some ethical, and it is not a matter of interest to us which weighs more heavily...they all lead to the same conclusion.

We have lots of projects in the works, and plans for more. We're very excited about the changes we're making to our lives and our ways of thinking, and we hope that you'll find it exciting reading about it all. We hope to get some more posts outlining our basic philosophies and ongoing projects up soon, but we've also got a pretty crazy weekend ahead of us, so don't hold your breath! ;-)

Thank you for reading!

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