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.
Greetings! As I mention on the Home page, this site is dedicated to low-footprint living. I’m out to promote what I call a “Grassroots Green Mobilization.”
Although a low-footprint lifestyle is fun and rewarding, it is not always easy, even if you are doing it for your own benefit (for example, to radically simplify your life in order to free up your money, time, and energy for things that really matter to you.) The dominant mainstream culture has waste and hyper-consumerism baked into every layer of life, and a person setting out to live light on the earth encounters many obstacles both physical and cultural. (Car-dependent housing developments; unavoidable single-use plastics; buildings designed to require climate control 24-7 … to name just a few examples.)
That’s where this blog comes in. I am here 100% to offer you tips, resources, and moral support. The posts aren’t in any particular order; I write about things as they come up in the news, or as I see them out in the world, or as they pop into my mind. If you’re new here, you might find it helpful to orient yourself by reading the following posts:
“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.”