The Riot for Austerity is a grassroots movement of people aiming to reduce their eco-footprint to TEN PERCENT of the U.S. average. We help and encourage each other, and seek to take this movement viral.
The Riot for Austerity was founded in the mid-2000s by Sharon Astyk and Miranda Edel, two eco-conscious writer/educator/Moms. The movement takes its name from a phrase in George Monbiot’s book HEAT: How We Can Stop the Planet Burning.
Along with permaculture design, the Riot for Austerity is the other main framework that has helped me be successful in pursuing a low-footprint lifestyle. The Riot is also known as the “90 Percent Reduction Challenge.” You’ll get to read all about it (including where the name came from) in the posts categorized “Riot for Austerity”.
One of the core topics I focus on in this blog is permaculture design. Permaculture is a set of design principles, derived from observing nature, for designing your home and any other aspect of your life to be sustainable. By “sustainable” in permaculture terminology, we mean financially, ecologically, AND socially sustainable. And furthermore, we don’t just mean “net zero damage” to the environment; in permaculture we have a REGENERATIVE focus, seeking to give net benefit to the land and all living creatures, not just human. This may sound like a tall order, but with the basic design principles derived from observation of how nature operates, it is very do-able and indeed ONLY NATURAL. In the posts categorized “permaculture”, I’ll highlight the various permaculture design principles and some very exciting real-world applications, as well as talk about some key figures in the permaculture movement, which is a worldwide, grassroots movement.
Somehow, even as a little girl, I’ve always been attracted to neat, well-organized tiny spaces. My family traveled across country several times in a small travel trailer, which might have had something to do with forming my aesthetic. Also we lived in Japan when I was about kindergarten age. Decluttering and organizing — both physical AND emotional — is a fun and juicy topic for me, and I hope to share some of the benefits with you. Many people these days are on a downsizing and “life-pruning” path to cut away what is no longer adding value to their lives, the better to focus on the things that matter to them most. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my lifelong organizing & decluttering adventure, and the adventures of other people who have inspired me.
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.