30 Days of Nothing

A 30 day fast unlike any I’ve ever done before. A 30 day fast from consumerism. 

Please take the time to click the logo and follow the link to the original article and please read it and consider participating. I spoke with my family this weekend and we are on board, I need to contact Bek to find out some details on the deal with the bicycles for jobs for families in Kenya as that is where my kids would like the money to go. Of courts they only want to do it if they can have a photo of the person who receives the bike, actually they wanted to go to Wal-Mart and buy one of those cool OCC bikes that I ride around the garden section of the store on and mail it to them, but we finally convinced them that mailing a bicycle to Kenya was a little out of range for us. Lucas is content as long as the bike is a “manly color” or in his words, “NOT PINK” 

Before I ramble too long the idea is to fast/boycott all extraneous consumerism. Now for us this isn’t that big of a deal, we don’t eat out that often, we don’t shop unless there is an actually need, our grocery budget is lower than my college bar tabs, and we live a very, very basic lifestyle, no cable, we don’t rent movies from overpriced rip off chains, we own only 1 car and 1 motorcycle and have 2 people that need transportation in the house (unlike the house holds with 2 drivers, and 5 vehicles) We do most of our clothes shopping at the Salvation Army, but for this 30 period that all ends. Now imagine the families that both spouses swing by their local Starbucks every morning, eat at some restaurant every day for lunch and at least ½ of the dinner meals are restaurant or take out. Simply cutting out Starbucks will put $50 a week in some people’s wallets.  

Now take the money you spend on consumerism and put it in a jar instead of spending it. At the end of the 30 days find some charity that can use the funds and give it to them. I encourage you to invest into a developing nation, of course I’m a huge advocate for the Horn of Africa, and there is major needs in Ethiopia right now due to the flooding, but every family has different passions, fund yours.  

I’ve also talked to my Navy buddy and he is talking to his family about it as well.  

We are kicking the thing up for bigger impact with our kids and we are going to attempt to “theme” out the weekends.  

One of the things I talked about with my buddy, that we can’t do as our kids are too young, but his are just right for this one, is to take the kids to the grocery store on Friday night. Hand then $3 and tell them they are going into the store and what they come out with is what the family of 4 will eat for the next day and a half. 4 meals, Friday night and all 3 on Saturday. The kicker is going to be when they try to “fix” the meal with spices, butter, salt or pepper, remember, they have to buy it on Friday to use it, so that stuff is ALL OFF LIMITS!  

Another one of the things we are going to do is to pick a weekend and starting on Friday night we will only eat rice. Plain old wild rice (the white stuff would just be too cruel, even developing nations don’t use that junk) Then on Saturday after lunch we will be packing into 1 vehicle to a set destination at least 6 miles from where supper is. We haven’t decided on the supper yet, but I’m thinking of choosing an ethnic meal or preparing something similar to what the emergency aid programs supply. At the drop off point every one will be given their backpack to carry (a couple of beach towels in them for our kids, just enough weight to get the picture) and then we can walk to supper. The walk isn’t the killer, our family has done these treks before, we make our kids hike the Appalachian trail to some NC tourist spot a couple times a year, the kicker is you are doing it on the energy rice provides to your body.   

We are also planning on taking a weekend and not use any electricity. Turn the central air off (it’s not on most of the time now anyways) No TV (not that big of a deal around our home) But also no hot water, no stove, no access to the fridge, no lights.  

Get the picture? 

For many it’s so easy to just write a check and tell you to go away, but we want to train our kids to have a global perspective, not an Americancentric lifestyle. Our goal is to raise $60 $30 so we can pay for 1 bike. Like I said we live a simple life already, so the budget isn’t really tweaked all that much. But the bigger picture for us is that our kids learn what it is like in a small fashion for the majority of the world. Our personal goal is that our kids know from their earliest memories just how blessed they are to be here, and what that means that their responsibility is to the rest of the world. Honestly in our house it’s nothing to go 30 days and to have not bought anything except food, so we are ready for that aspect, but the rest of it will be interesting.  

Please won’t you consider joining us?


11 Responses to “30 Days of Nothing”

  1. Avery…That is so cool!!! I have the proposal right now…I am trying to rewrite it to “de Africanize” it…but I might just send it to you as is.

    The money will go directly to the charity called Reach the Children that we work with in Kenya. I can’t remember if the bikes are going a place in Kissumu or not..but it is very close by.

    BTW..we had our annual meeting w/ the teacher that do the Stay Alive program (the charity I volunteer with in real life). We were going to sponsor a music festival in Western and go out in October to judge it. When our kenyan associate went to the “meeting” to promote it only 4 of the music teacher were there.. out of 10. The rest had died. That is the AFrica I need to remember. We are pushing it back but these schools are trying to find new teachers now. 6 more children without parents……. sigh.

  2. oops…will you send me your email address? I will write up a proposal (with where to send the money in the end..and all the info) that you can forward. Our goal is 30 bikes at 60$ each. You are a star.

    Send me an e mail via my blog? 🙂

  3. Avery – We have been talking about doing this to, and I like your idea of $3 for the next days meals. One time we did a kind of fast where we ate oatmeal for b’fast, salad and tuna for lunch, and chicken and rice for dinner, for 40 days. We thought we were going to die! Then when we started eating normal again and hit McDonalds and really thought we were going to die.

    To think that most of the world lives on a basic staple food 99% of the time – we Americans just couldn’t take it.


  4. I’m glad you’re doing this too, Avery. I like the idea of sending kids to shop with just a little $$


  5. Avery your family is awesome, what a great idea. Rebecca what bicycle program is this? (I’ve mentioned on my blog before about how my dad’s sixth grade class raises money to buy children bikes in Kisumu, Kenya so they can come to school. They also help pay for orphans’ lunches at school as well as sponsor a little girl.) Anyway I feel so happy to know that people in Africa are receiving assistance, and not only that but that people here in America CARE.

  6. Oh and I meant to say, you guys rock for not renting overpriced movies at the chains. We only rent from Albertsons–new releases are $1 on Mondays! Whoohoo! Good for you only having one car and one motorcycle as well.

  7. our trick is to have friends that have movies… borrowing is free

  8. Love it! Great, great ideas – I may steal some of them for my own family. Love the idea about the kids shopping…I really think these tangible lessons stick with them. Thank you so much for sharing your plans and participating.

  9. […] I’ll keep ya posted.  For more thoughts on this topic, visit:  HeyJules’ List and Avery’s 30 days […]

  10. Avery,

    i just want to encourage you. i’m a psator leading my entire church on a 40 day “fast” from the extravagant. Probaby not to the scale you are doing personally, but if I can get 400 people to drop $30 bucks in our collection bottles or have them sponsor a child monthly, then we can make a difference – one life at a time.

    i too hope to teach my children, that we can get by with less so that others can have more. check out http://www.myspace.com/shini_tai or http://www.stpauls-umc.com/40Daus.htm (still being built) to see my labor of love

    i am amazed at the similarities – “great minds” think alike – not me – i’m humbly listen to the inner voice.

    God be with you – shalom.

  11. […] I’ll keep ya posted.  For more thoughts on this topic, visit:  HeyJules’ List and Avery’s 30 days […]

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