Living on the cheap isn’t about being poor or not having nice things. For me it is about making the choice to consume less and to live more simply. When I need something I turn to the local classifieds, thrift stores and my friends first before I venture out to the store. Likely the OCD memory serves me well because if I do stock pile anything I have a photographic recollection of where it is.
I am not really a fan of Christmas. Surprised? Of course you’re not. You know what people like about Christmas? The good will. The gathering of those closest to you, sharing time, laughter, coming together to warm each other on the long cold dark nights. My friend Alex put it better.
This year I was pleased to discover that I didn’t get much in the way of presents. Well conventional store bought presents that is. I got a lot of gifts. In fact my Christmas was almost out of the pages of one of my favorite stories ‘Little House on the Prarie’. I got handmade caramels and lip gloss made of beeswax and oil in reused tins. I got relish and beets and bread. I came home from my parents house with more food than plastic and that made me feel incredibly good. Continue reading Consumable Christmas
When was the last time you looked in a phone book? Ok I did this week but honestly I could have just as easily looked online. Every year thousands of phonebooks are printed, trucked to doorsteps and discarded or never used. Until we can manage to convince the publishing companies to make recieving a phone book a request based system do the opposite and request to NOT get yours.
The InfoTel book – stop sending me phone books!
Freecycle is quite possibly one of the greatest sites going in that it connects the local community in a way that is completely unique – everything is FREE. Post what you want or what you have and someone from your community or better yet your neighbourhood will come and get it if they can make use of it!
Recently my partner and I moved in together and have done a big renovation (highlights include: high efficiency furnace, tankless water heater, better insulation, cork floors and low VOC paints) which means a lot of waste and a lot of extra stuff. The answer: freecycle. Every time we create a pile of things that have to go I head upstairs to the computer with a list and post it all on freecycle. Within a few days it has all gone to new homes where it can be useful!
This is nothing short of amazing and beautiful. Imagine if even more of the things you ever had or will get were obtained in this way? Freecycle couches, furniture, kitchen items, clothing, movies, it is endless and we certainly have enough stuff to go around, no doubts there.
Short of getting what you need for free there are always thrift stores and it is garage sale season. It has been a habit of mine for years to try and hunt something down and buy it used before I resort to getting it from a store. We all can make do without a lot of the things that we consume on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. When we make time in our lives for these things it is my belief that we will all feel better in our hearts, our minds and generally with our selves.
Be good to yourself and to others.
Someone near us is building an earthship and they want you to come and see what they are doing!
If you have seen the movie ‘The Garbage Warrior‘ then you know what the heck I am talking about. If you haven’t the movie begs the question what do beer cans, car tires and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you’re renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing thermal mass and energy-independent housing. For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of “Earthship Biotecture” by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony.
The Burkholders are building an earthship in Darfield BC and are sharing their journey and the story on their blog. Also they could use some old tires. Not random tires but fairly specific ones to simplify their constructive process.
"They MUST be 245, 235 or 225 as we use them like bricks so the thickness has to be the same. Diameter (anything after the R on the tire) doesn't matter. We certainly appreciate any donations of these sizes! And after going around the tire shops for the last 6 months, there is certainly no end of tires....a real eye opener."
We would love to go out and visit when they start constructing walls and would like to arrange a group of people who are interested. I imagine they are pretty busy so showing a larger group around once would take up less of their time than a whole bunch of people lots of times. Comment or post here to express your interest and we’ll make it happen!
Penn and Teller had this wonderful program called BullShit! Sorry if that offends but that’s the name! They called Bullshit on recycling which was incredibly eye opening and SO true. Check it out here.
So before you happily and blissfully throw all your ‘recyclables’ into that blue lidded bin think twice about where that yogurt container is going and what you want your sustainable solution to be.
Check out these 5 recycling myths
And these 8 myths on recycling
Confused yet? There is a lot of conflicting information out there so you’ll have to draw your own conclusion and make decisions for yourself. Keep the whole picture in mind and focus on your goals!