Q: What do composting, no ‘poo washing, and family cloth (reusable toilet paper) all have in common?
A: These are all things that used to make me gag or roll my eyes – because ewww, right? But now I don’t even blink an eye when these topics come up.
In fact, Matt and I have embraced and implemented some of these things in our own household, and now WE are the weird crunchy ones folks have to hide their eye rolling from.
This past week I realized I have hit another milestone in my “crunchy” journey. Composting toilets no longer seem strange/gross/far-fetched. Yes, I actually read about using a composting toilet as a means to creating a more sustainable household, and I thought, “Great point – not enough people do this!” They are easy to construct, no water is wasted, and the resulting “humanure” can be used to fertilize trees and plants. Go ahead and let out a big “ewww,” but THAT is sustainable my friends.
Sustainability is, simply put, the capacity to endure. -Sustainability Starts at Home
Sustainability Starts at Home: A Comprehensive Resource
I recently had the privilege of reading the brand new e-book Sustainability Starts at Home by Dawn Gifford.
While I have read my share of books on “green” living and creating sustainable habits, this one was a very straightforward, practical, empowering book on the topic. Not only is it a convincing call to action for saving our planet’s resources, but it also gives advice on saving money and simplifying your life in the process.
Warning: Gifford doesn’t pussyfoot around the real issues in this book – the book will challenge everything you are currently doing and inspire you to make immediate changes.
- Want to know why recycling isn’t enough?
- Did you know there are ways to get the power company to pay you?
- Want to know how riding your bicycle could change the world?
- Curious about which appliances are “energy vampires,” sucking the most electricity in your house?
- Want to do a little experiment to simplify your life that could save you $200-$500 per month?
Simplicity is Sustainability
One of the reasons we started this website was to teach people how to become more sustainable by returning to the simple habits and practices our grandparents lived by. We aspire to learn new skills and decrease our reliance on modern culture so that we don’t have to loot WalMart if some sort of tragedy were to strike.
You may not want to build a homestead or ride your bike to work every day, but we recommend doing every little bit to live a simpler, more self-sufficient life.
7 ways to live simply and sustainably
1. Say goodbye to the TV
Instead of watching TV, fill your hours with reading, learning activities, and other tasks that will save you money, and build your skill set. Learn about sewing, gardening, cheese-making, or raising animals.
2. Raise a few chickens
Or goats, or cows, or ducks. Not only will you have a fresh food source in your back yard, but after feeding your own family, you may also have a little food to sell or barter.
3. Get off the grid
Install a wood burning stove, look into renting solar panels, collect rain water, put in a composting toilet, and anything else you can do to use less municipal or regional resources.
4. Make your own cleaners and personal products
Our website is a great resource for making these things. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save, how many toxins you’ll eliminate from your household, and how waste is reduced when you make your own.
5. Stop eating food that comes in a box, can, or bag
Rely less on packaged foods, even if they are organic. Learn how to make your own crackers, condiments, sauces, candies, noodles, and any other packaged foods you may still be buying.
6. Bike or walk
Whenever possible, ride a bike, walk, or use public transportation. If you live in a rural area be sure to make infrequent trips, combining errands.
7. Stop buying consumables
Barter or share whenever possible. Don’t have the stand mixer your recipe calls for? See if you can borrow from a friend. Don’t know how to fix the plumbing problem? Offer to do some mending projects for your friend who knows about plumbing.
Want more tips on creating a sustainable household?
Then I highly recommend checking out the new book Sustainability Starts at Home. This is a meticulously researched book on how simplifying your life can save you thousands of dollars a year and help change the world.