I take great care in selecting the food that I eat and serve to my husband. I’ve made my best effort to purchase and prepare organic, locally sourced food whenever possible. From my own experience, I realize eating this way isn’t always convenient or in the budget. And then yesterday I learned that our food travels (on average) 1,500 miles from farm to plate. 1,500 miles … wait … what?Fact: I am allergic to most every pollen and a magnet for mosquito bites. My idea of being ‘outdoorsy’ includes a screened-in porch and cocktail hour. (There is a reason I’ve spent my entire adult life in cities!) But that article on Urban Organic Gardner makes me think I should get over my lacking desire for outdoorsiness and do something with those raised planters we have in the backyard. If he can feed himself from his NYC fire escape, surely I can do something. Heck, the least I can do is enroll us in a local CSA, right? Sometimes it is about making the best choices you can with what you’ve got.I also read an interesting article yesterday on Eco Salon about what the online flash sale sites are doing to the fashion industry. It’s the second in a series of articles about the state of the fashion industry with an eco-minded outlook. Historically, when consumerism goes this ‘ultra cheap’ direction it usually triggers the desire for balance. I hate to be a pessimist. Let’s hope this is the case and that there is a renewed desire for quality craftsmanship. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a flurry of new, independent slow design artisans (Think: Alabama Chanin and J.Morgan Puett) here in the United States?Stumbling upon these articles couldn’t have been more timely for me. Today we’re talking about the slow home movement on #DesignTV. (You can join in or follow the conversation on tweetchat at 5pm EST, 2pm PAC) Are you scratching your head and wondering “What’s slow home?” Here are a few articles that will shed light on the slow movement: Alluminare talked about the slow home movement and going green, and Eco Domestica has written two posts. Part one is a slow design primer, and part two is about the slow design paradigm shift. She also started a blog called Sustainable Slow. I only learned of it today when I saw that she wrote a post about what slow home means to her – I look forward to reading more!As you’re well aware, the slow home mindset is a passion of mine – from frivolous to serious – I have written about it here on ABCD Design. If you want to get a feel for my thoughts ‘A smaller life: signs of a slow home movement‘ is a good place to start.
The slow home movement is about supporting your local community, not always purchasing from the big box stores. It’s about craftsmanship, whether it is the work of artisans or it’s homemade – the bottom line is that it is about honest quality and keeping tradition alive.
The slow home movement is about going local and purchasing the quality of home furnishings that will be handed down to your granchildren – not that will end up in a land fill in a few years.
It’s about thoughtfulness, not mindless consumption. When we do choose to consume new product, it’s about selecting the one that is of the highest quality (within your budget, of course) and picking something that is made with integrity.
Embracing the slow home movement is about creating a nurturing environment for your family. It is also about ritual and the little things that make daily life feel more special. It’s about slowing down and being present for those moments.
This is just my take on the slow home movement – which could vary wildly from yours. I don’t know that anyone out there has specifically set up guidelines or ‘rules’ to follow. I think it’s more about remembering how it used to be done. You know, back when our grandparents were kids and we were not all 110% ‘connected’ 100% of the time.– It could be as simple as preparing your dinner at home and eating off of china plates instead of ordering-in. Think about the packaging, plastic forks, knives, bags, and extra ketchup they send along with carry out!
– It is about up-cycling or refurbishing and repurposing flea market finds.
– It could be about planting a vegetable garden, (even if it’s just a little one) and eating fresh picked vegetables in the Summer time.– It can be as simple as taking a few seconds to light a candle, a moment or two to arrange some flowers, or to make something by hand. I choose to live with what I love by displaying my collections in an aesthetically pleasing way. As I look around, it brings me great pleasure to see fresh cut flowers, a collection of framed photographs, or the tea cups I have been collecting since I was a young girl. It forces me to ‘stop and smell the roses.’– It is about being mindful of the impact that your new furniture and home decor items have on the environment.