photo: ****b/c**** on Flickr
My grass is brown. We don't water it or even have a sprinkler system.
My laundry hangs outside, draped willy-nilly on racks, thrown over patio furniture and hangs from umbrella frames
My children wear thrift store duds, often found with tags still attached and quite often brand name.
We host garage sales, sell and buy used items on craigslist and have been known to Freecycle.
We don't buy juice boxes, Gatorades, ice cream bars, Popsicles, cookies, waffles or pancakes.
We don't drive big, fancy cars or SUVs.
I don't have a housekeeper, landscaper or dog-walker.
I can't remember the last time I had a Starbucks, went to the mall or ordered fast food.
And the list goes on... We walk to the corner store. We turn the tap off when we brush our teeth. We pour leftover boiling canning water over the weeds in our driveway. We are an affluent family.
To many in suburbia, this is truly a strange and unusual concept. I must be an alien to consider myself affluent. Isn't going without all the conveniences and comforts available today a signal of hardship, low-income or thrift? So, in the midst of all of the suburban drones, how does one alien living lighter, when she could afford more, still define herself as affluent when others describe her lifestyle as just the opposite?
Why? I have the luxury to choose my lifestyle. It's as simple as that. I am privileged to have education, an income and career. I am blessed to have options. I am lucky to have multiple sources for food I deem healthy and nutritious to feed my family. I have electricity, running water, comfortable clothing, top-notch doctors and hospitals, an excellent school system and most of all - four healthy children. I am most certainly not going without and isn't it my responsibility to spread my affluence around?
I choose to continue to educate myself and my family. I choose to conserve the resources that we have so others may have a little more. I choose to go the extra mile to support my local farmer and buy his eggs, produce and meat so that not only I can feed my family a healthy meal, but he can feed his family a healthy meal. I choose to educate others, volunteering to share my knowledge with schools, our government and my family. I am an affluent alien walking this planet, attempting to infect the world with my thoughts on lighter living.
As an APLS who once thought she was the only affluent alien living lighter, I welcome all of the APLS to suburbia. I see more of you aliens every day. Hanging out laundry, walking to the store, buying farmer's market produce and most importantly - influencing others. Affluence is catching! It's attacking suburbia! It's not long until affluent aliens take over the planet. Welcome to earth, APLS, we're thankful you're here.
Have you been infected by the lighter living affluents? If you have, join us in the APLS bushel basket. You'll find many of your kind, and like me, you'll find some right in your own neighborhood!
This is my post submitted to the September APLS Carnival. If you want to submit your thoughts, however alien and strange they may be, to the APLS Carnival, please hurry! The mother ship departs on September 10th, so get on over to the APLS blog for more info.