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Saturday, January 16, 2010

365 days of living with less...

'The MareBare Necessities' - My first day of living 365 days with less...

'Less' is definitely a subjective term, but to me this means trying to consume fewer new products, trying to spend less money on the new products that I do consume, and trying to decrease the impact that I am having on the desecration of our environment.

So, this leads me to the rules of my challenge:
  • No purchasing of new products unless they fall under the following categories: food, beverages, medicine, toiletries or personal hygiene products, gasoline or other car maintenance materials (we live WAY out of town), household improvement products/materials, underwear, or local arts and crafts.
  • I realize that I will encounter some 'gray' areas in the next year, and that the above list may need to be modified as the next year progresses. However, for now, I can't possibly foresee what all of these challenges will be and I plan to deal with it/write about it as these difficulties arise.
  • Minimize my environmental impact whenever possible and again, record the challenges that I encounter while attempting to do so.
  • Buy locally as much as possible.

I think that it may be as simple as this, but I will keep you posted. A bit of background on me and my family might be pertinent and interesting as well so, here it goes:

  • I am a 30-year-old female. My name is Maren, however my nickname, Marebear, fit well with the 'Bare Necessities' theme, hence the 'MareBare Necessities' title.
  • I am married with a one-year old son.
  • I live on a farm in a rural area outside of Edmonton, Alberta. While this is wonderful for certain things such as gardening, cross-country skiing, biking and running, composting etc., it does mean a fair amount of car travel for me to get to and from civilization (boo.)

I do anticipate that I will encounter a variety of personal, cultural and familial challenges in the next 365 days, and I thought it would make for a great story. Wish me luck and check back often to see how I am doing and find out tips and tricks for making it work for you too (if you are interested in doing so). I am also planning on including photos, financial comparisons from this year and last, environmental statistics and motivating quotes, just to spice things up a little. So, without further adieu, here is the first of many quotes that will guide me on my quest:

"It is only as humans that we have the possibility of implementing changes in our own lives." ~The Dalai Lama

Clear skies and all the best,

Marebear :)


  1. I forgot to mention that I encourage your feedback/comments on my blog or by e-mail if you prefer. E-mail me at:

  2. Ooh, I'm so excited to see how this goes for you Maren! I too have thought often about how I could pursue a similar change in my life. I seem to find more than 365 ways to justify putting off my start though! I have not been able to achieve the right priorities, mindset and commitment to begin just yet. Perhaps your blogs will help me break my inertia! :) Are both you and Trent aimed at this bare necessities goal? Do your restrictions include purchases for Chephren?
    Please forgive any errors in blogging etiquette as this is my first. Anyway, best of luck to you on your journey Maren.
    “Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy" Richard Holloway

  3. Hey Lawana, thanks for the encouraging comments! With respect you your questions, Trent is on-board to some degree, although he is unwilling to participate fully, nor would I expect him to do so. I am sure that down the road, this project of mine will cause some conflict between us and I am curious to see what the issues are/may be. As for Chephren, he is the easiest one of all to buy used things for, and we have done a lot of this already. They have a few great baby consignment stores in Edmonton and tonnes of stuff on Kijiji.

    Anyway, thanks for the quote, I will likely use it someday on the blog. And as for your desires to make some changes - I would say start with little things - they will make all the difference at getting you started.

    Take care and thanks again for the feedback!