In this category I take you behind-the-scenes of my life; the struggles, hard moments, just this & that of being human. The nitty, the gritty, the not so pretty. My lifestyle is my main example that I’m using in my campaign to popularize a low-footprint lifestyle, and if I’m going to convince you guys that this lifestyle is practical and do-able (as well as having great personal benefits), you need to be able to see the reality, not just the “expert” facade.
As I mention in my book DEEP GREEN, financial choices have an ecological impact just as do our eating habits, transportation, energy use and so on. For some years I literally did not have enough money to worry too much about any unseen financial impacts it might be having. But now I have some assets and am taking steps to maximize their green quotient. I’ll be sharing with you some of the most innovative and courageous experts in sustainable finance, and will be letting you in on my journey also.
Currently I am growing nothing edible in my yard other than the edible weeds which naturally spring up here. My ambitious goal is to grow 50% or more of my own food here on my property. I have a brown thumb and can kill the hardiest plant without even trying, so if I can do this, anyone can, including YOU! Since I am starting at zero, you will get to monitor my progress from the ground floor.
In this category of posts, I’ll not only be telling you about my own efforts, but also will be telling you about successful efforts by permaculturists, preppers, and other folks I know who are very far down this path. So, you’ll have plenty of excellent examples to aim for, while also being able to take comfort in the fact that I, the person conveying them to you, am pretty much starting from zero and have little or no aptitude — just desire and commitment! I love garden-fresh food, and once I started growing and foraging even a tiny bit of my own food, which I have been doing on and off since about 2004, I’ve been hooked on the convenience and the superior flavor. I’ve just never put in the work it takes to successfully cultivate more than a couple or a few veggies at a time. Quite frankly, I’ve always given up too easily. But that is about to change! And since I moved into a new house very recently, I haven’t started anything here yet. So you really will get to follow my Edible Yard Project from the beginning!
This whole site is dedicated to low-footprint living, so “low-footprint living” is my default main category that applies to pretty much all posts on this blog. Even when I’m writing about (for example) some childhood memory or current personal issue, it will be connected somehow to low-footprint living.
This blog is dedicated to low-footprint living. Can you imagine what would happen if millions of people voluntarily reduced their carbon footprint by 90% or more? The impact would be similar to that of the household austerity measures imposed during World War II, except that this time we’d be doing it voluntarily. And instead of channeling our time, money, and energy toward a war effort, we’d be working toward a shared global aim of restoring the earth’s ecosystems, and preserving our life and wellbeing on this beautiful planet. A grassroots green mobilization!
Does living at 10% of the average U.S. footprint sound unrealistic or uncomfortable to you? The truth is, lots of us are already doing it, or are well on our way. And in the process of reducing our footprints, we’re putting money in our pockets, and freeing up our time and energy for the things that give life meaning (which of course differ from one person to the next).
And not only is it not uncomfortable (beyond a bit of manageable discomfort here and there), it’s fun!
At its root, a low-footprint lifestyle is a great way to improve your quality of life, even if planetary concerns were not a factor. In this blog I share a wealth of tips and resources to help you design your own version of a low-footprint lifestyle, or, if you’re already on this path, to go further than you’ve ever gone before.
Thank you for being here!
“Most deserts are manmade.” — One of my favorite quotes from rainwater harvesting expert Brad Lancaster. The flipside good news is, deserts can be transformed back into lush fertile land by the same species that created them! Check out #GreeningTheDesert Geoff Lawton; #HarvestingRainwater Brad Lancaster; #GreywaterOasis Art Ludwig.
The photo at the top shows an example of human-induced desertification in my city (where we get about 49 inches of rainfall annually!). Fortunately it’s easy to fix this. Add mulch, and plants. Notice in the second photo, the lush belt of tall grasses and other plants in the background behind the mowed area. The plants pictured here are naturally occurring and drought-tolerant. My name for dense belts, clumps, and borders of low-maintenance vegetation is “puffy landscaping.” Not only is puffy landscaping pretty; it’s also good for drought-resistance, flood control, heat-island mitigation, and erosion control among other things.
If you really love and use your lawn, that’s fine, but consider letting the grass grow a bit more between cuttings. Just a block away from the dismal over-mowed lot where I took the first picture, my neighbor’s lawn grows lush and green with no fertilizer and minimal irrigation, simply because she lets it grow about 4″ high instead of scalping it.
The steps we take to address desertification can also mitigate the negative consequences of urban sprawl and development. If you’re a person who loves trees and wildlife, it’s all too easy to sink into despair in the face of development’s relentless march. Big-box stores; multi-lane roads; vast parking lots. But (in addition to getting organized and vocal) there’s something else that you and I as everyday citizens can do to help mitigate the impacts of over-pavement. We can nurture more of a forest or prairie environment in our yards. Natives, edibles, trees, tall grasses. Reverse the de-vegetation trend! Start a grass-roots urban re-forestation movement! Another term I’ve coined, along with “puffy landscaping,” is “infill forestation.”