We are launching our website and blog with a personal challenge which is likely to have a lasting effect on our everyday way of life. It all kicks off April 1, when our two families will embark on a 7 month experiment. April will consist of a month-long purge in which we rid our home (closets, garages, basements, etc.) of the excess baggage and clutter that is both, literally and figuratively, weighing us down; stuff that is neither needed nor treasured. Most will be donated, some may be sold, but nothing that is useful to another human being will be thrown away. Then beginning May 1, we will commit ourselves and our families fully to buying NOTHING NEW for a period of 6 months. During this time we will also be greatly reducing household waste by eliminating the use of disposable one use items. We are calling our challenge Spunky Avocado’s Suburban Smackdown. And we will, of course, be blogging about our experiences from day 1. (You can check out our individual Smackdown inspriations here: Amy & Niki.)
Our Suburban Smackdown challenge will allow for the very few exceptions. You can see the Smackdown guidelines by clicking below:
We are sure this experience will challenge us in ways that we do not expect. We aren’t over-thinking it, we aren’t “stocking up” before hand, and we aren’t giving ourselves easy “outs”, because we know that the more difficult obstacles will be the ones that have the greatest impact on our families. For example, during this 6 month time period, we will be celebrating 8 birthdays between our two families. We will not be giving gifts. We will, instead, focus on experiences that we can have as a family rather than adding to our possessions. Also, any gifts given for anyone or any occasion during this period, will not be material items unless they are handmade with supplies we already possess.
While we are afraid that some may perceive our challenge as judgmental, this is not at all our intention. We believe there is a big difference between judgement and a calling: an invitation to live, relate, and consume in this world more consciously, an opportunity to wake up to the sacred in everyday moments. We invite you to be part of the solution, too. Getting others on board and inspiring them to look more deeply at their own consumption habits as well as their relationship to the “stuff” in their lives, is an essential part of our mission.
We will be encouraging others to pledge to participate in a month long “Suburban Smackdown Challenge” of their own, where participants will follow the same rules our families must adhere to for 6 months. Our blog will feature one participating individual or family each month who will share their own “Smackdown” experiences. Below, you will find a commitment form where you can sign up for your Smackdown Challenge, as well as put in a request to have yourself/your family’s experiences, featured on our blog.
We so hope you will follow our adventure. It’s a bit scary putting ourselves “out there” like this but on April 1, we begin our purge and on May 1, there is no turning back!
Wish us luck! ~Amy and Niki