Hello, and welcome! Let's start with an introduction. My name is Jennifer and my family and I live in the city of Seattle. I grew up in the Michigan countryside, while my husband grew up in a seaside town outside of Dublin, Ireland. We have a two-year old son named Leo and have called Seattle home for the last four years.
If you're here, you're either wondering: "what is a Modern Homestead?"; or, you've followed me on social media and know that I've been on a journey to reduce plastics and toxins from our home, and you're interested in learning more.
No matter why you made it here, thank you! I am excited to share this journey with you. Let's get started.
What is a Homestead?
First, what on earth is a "Modern Homestead"? Well, a homestead is just a piece of land that the owners live on. For most of us, it conjures a picture of self-sufficiency: people who don't live in cities, and by definition must live a self-sustaining lifestyle. There's beauty in that picture, for me at least. For one, it is empowering when you can grow it yourself, make it yourself or do it yourself. And two, it's a form of creativity to turn raw materials - in some cases, seeds and dirt - into something useful, delicious or beautiful. If you're interested in virtually immersing yourself in the life of a homesteader, check out a book that I recently finished called The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. It's about a young girl who moved to a remote town, off-the-grid in Alaska and the beauty, expanse and ruthless nature of living a homestead lifestyle.
I'm not taking things as far as an off-the-grid lifestyle, but I believe there is a lot we can learn from those who do not rely on the conveniences we have today.
Living a Plastic and Toxin-Free Lifestyle
The modern age in which we live in makes it actually impossible to live a plastic and toxin-free lifestyle. Even if you are fully living off the grid, you're still exposed to the toxins and chemicals through the water, soil and air that have been used for decades creating things like plastics and Teflon. However, just because we can't truly flip the switch, does not mean that we cannot make meaningful improvements in our lives. If you're here, you probably know why plastics and synthetic chemical toxins are so harmful. Plastics do not biodegrade for 500 years. They are filling our oceans, leaching chemicals into our soil, almost all of it is not recycled and manufacturing uses fossil fuels, which is a double-whammy to the environment. And toxic chemicals are found in everything: furniture, rugs, personal care products, cleaning products, paint and more. They are massive endocrine disruptors, significantly impacting growing children and pregnant / nursing moms, not to mention that the toxins can build in your system over time leading to more serious issues.
I have not cited the tip of the iceberg here when it comes to the issues with plastics and toxins. It is easy to ignore it, or tell yourself that your plastics might get recycled this time, or that your perfume might be one of the good ones. That has been easy for me to do almost my entire life. Since having a child, my perspective has changed and I feel an immense responsibility to him, to our family and to help anyone else who wants to be on this journey with me.
What to Expect
If you are even a tiny bit interested in these topics, keep reading along. Living a more "self-sustaining" lifestyle is accessible: whether you have a window-sill garden or live in the 'burbs. And, there are truly simple ways to reduce both plastic and toxins in your home, where most of us are spending most of our time these days. And the great news is that the solutions are actually more affordable than you might think.
Let's see what we can do together.