I collect kitchen scraps (fruit and vegies) and feed them to Oscar, my worm bin. The worms eat the scraps and produce perfect compost, which I feed to my terrace garden. I grow tomatoes, eggplant, okra, beets, carrots, basil, rosemary, strawberries, and melon.
I also have a business designing green roofs. I spread the word about green roofs where ever I can. A green roof is a layered system that sustains a lush, growing layer of plants on a roof. It keeps the building cooler and helps to manage stormwater, among other benefits. A green roof can easily be teamed with solar panels to truly develop the potential of rooftop space.
This post was submitted by Inger Yancey.
In preparation for no impact week my friend helped to install a rack and storage pack onto the back of my bicycle. This allows me to eliminate my dependency on public transportation so that I can go to, the co-op, school and work, having no impact.
This post was submitted by Nick Rigger.
We’ve lived a minimalist lifestyle for thirty-five years in rural Alaska; fourteen years without power, telephone, or running water, and heating our home from the forest on our property. 13 acres includes original growth forest, carefully harvested for firewood, building materials and non-timber resources. The river-flats hold our gardens and small livestock raised for food and trail companions.
We shared our 20×20′ A-frame cabin with our three children who are now contributing young adults, two in the larger world of the lower 48 working to help realize change.
Our choices to live the way we have made sound ecological sense by requiring us to be as self-sufficient as possible and living far within our small financial means. It’s instilled a deep and abiding passion for place and community. Our kids are carrying those convictions with them and returning regularly to refuel while we maintain the homestead.
It’s been a happy, fortunate life.
This post was submitted by Adrian Revenaugh.
My family and I have down sized due to the economy and our plan for Financial freedom in this quest. I have thought ways how to protect the planet, with my actions. Many times I and My family refuse bags for items at the store or Rancher Market “new concept carry with hands. Here is AZ. It has started to cool off My son walks to school as weather permit for exercise and less consumption.
Our family has down sized to one car for all of us two adult and two teenagers they do not drive yet. until they pay their own way. I hang dry most of my laundry I love the fresh smell and feeling. My HOA like to complain about hanging clothing I just ignore them I know there is a group trying to change weather a home association can regulate people hanging their laundry out. If anyone can help me on this let me know. I got a bigger recycle bin 90 gallon. make sure we use our left over before going to the store too many times I try to hold it down to once a week or once every 12 days. We have lost weight spent less and made less of a carbon imprint on the earth I reuse and exchange many items with friends and purchase second hand repair and recycle everything. right now I am using candles for light even though I have all florescent in the house. We are planning a winter garden in container here in AZ for the winter. make our own snack and drink for trip around town cuts down on everything time gas money wasting gas at the drive through and polluting the earth. I shut off the car when waiting too long. We are holding a garage sale this weekend to lighten the house. when we have Christmas this year we will plant a tree and make edible ornaments. work on making homemade gift from nature.
We are still learning and trying
This post was submitted by Carey Davis.
reduce the number of bulbs in the house(the bathroom in the apartment has 6 bright bulbs)
use a bucket to collect water from the tap and bathe using a mug to pour the water on yourself.start with washing your face and neck and ears with the cold water that comes first,then bathe the rest of your body,with preferably cold or warm water.This is good to regulate blood pressure.
if you live in an independent house, you can switch off the boiler during the day.
Since I have onbly a month’s exoperience of living in USA,I do not know how practical my suggestions will be.
This post was submitted by preeta.
Having grown up with a family that lived through the depression of the 30′s and world war two I came away with lots of money and environment saving skills.
Even though I am many years away from my childhood home life I continue to use alot of the ideas passed on by my parents.
We grow a huge garden each year using the French Intensive method. The yields are incredable.
We recycle everything. A sustainable compost heap can be easily made from old lumber found for free at construction sites and sometimes even at home centers.
We have over the years collected seeds from wild flowers and plants which has replaced the grass in our parts of our yard. In the other parts we have begun herb beds and vegetable beds. These beds are empty only during rotation time and provide a great deal of herbs and vegetables.
As much as is possible, we have been bicycling or sharing rides to and from work.
This post was submitted by mike.
Nobody has mentioned spinning. weaving, dyeing, sewing and other 18th C life skills. Not only is spinning fun but you can use your yarn for whatever purpose. I am currently working on angora neckwarmers for my kids. Handwoven dish towels last much much longer than store bought ones. Handknit chenille washcloths are pure luxury. Sewing clothes is fast, easy and cheap.
My sheep eat the lawn, I shear the sheep and use them to make whatever. The black walnuts produce 1) nuts, 2) dye from the husk and 3) VERY strong arm muscles.
One homeschooling project is that we are attempting to make flour from acorns this year. Not sure how that will work but worth a try.
I have goats and cows so fresh milk is in glass containers. The surplus is used for cheese, ice cream, etc. I recycle most kitchen scraps back to the hens. Even olive oil is purchased in metal cans that are put back in play by turning them into lamps. Many types of cans make very cute lamps.
The last time we ate out was a year ago. I make bread, ice cream, everything. And it is better than store bought, cheaper and generates much less trash. When you have a system developed, meals can be * fast food* in less time than it takes to run out and get something. I go to the grocery once every 2 weeks as my cows are dry right now and we use a lot of milk.
Another current project is to cart train one of the goats. Then he can be used to pull a cart to do the * heavy work* here. Plus amuse the kids.
I am not a farmer type. I am a city girl that chose to have better quality foods and has a few acres to do so.
This post was submitted by Mary Margaret.
Havent used A/C in five years. Grow all my own fruit, veggies and raise my own organic chickens for eggs. The chickens are fed veggies from the garden and have free range on two acres that have been organic since I purchased them 14 years ago. Barter stall space for goat milk (FFA student’s project). It’s just nice to FINALLY see other people get the concept. I started my tree hugging in the 70′s and have dealt with the nay sayers on my own for far too long. Welcome aboard!
This post was submitted by Deborah.
We bought a free-standing umbrella-style clothesline a couple of years ago when the dryer stopped working. It has become a source of pleasure to take the time to hang out the clothes in the backyard, and especially to bring them in smelling so deliciously of fresh air. I’ve learned how to fold big sheets (edges up, pinned to parallel lines)so they don’t drag on the ground. I amuse myself by putting big contour sheets over the top of the clothesline, stretching the corners of the sheets over the lines four “arms,” which makes it look like the clothesline is wearing a big shower cap. Ah the simple pleasures!
Occasionally, it is true, we have to bring in laundry when it is still slightly damp and hang it around the house overnight, but I hope to set up an indoor line in the basement so we can do laundry when the weather is wet.
This post was submitted by Sara Katz.
Check out the book “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez (tip: you can probably get it at your local library). I read this book over 10 years ago and it made a HUGE impact on how I live. I now enjoy a level of freedom and financial independence that I never thought possible.
The book walks you through the process of tracking every penny that comes in and goes out of your life. You also assign a happiness score to each expenditure. Even if you only do it for one month, you’ll be SHOCKED at the amount of money you spend on stupid things that don’t make you happy.
The first month that I tracked my expenses I had a category called “stuff” for lack of a better term. I has horrified an the amount of money I had spent on things… I couldn’t even remember what most of them were by the end of the month! I then proceeded to have an arguement with myself. Part of me was saying “but I want to be able to treat myself and buy things… it’s MY money after all.” Then it hit me… “IT’S MY MONEY!!!” why was I trhowing it away instead of keeping it?
That was step one in a long process of extracting myself from the consumer rat-race. Exiting from the consumer culture also means living a much more eco-friendly lifestyle!
This post was submitted by Rebecca.