14 November 2006

eco blogging tuesday
simple.

I think perhaps it was high school when I discovered The Tightwad Gazette books, compilations of the newsletters of the same name. A self-professed "frugal zealot," the author detailed both how and why one could live frugally. Through meticulous re-use, simplicity and home-spun projects, her family achieved a quality of life that few get to enjoy. A welcome side effect was less impact on the environment.

Often people associate "green living" with "expensive living." Indeed, choosing green products over conventional can raise your expenses. But these costs can be offset with increased simplicity or lifestyle changes, which only benefits the environment more.

People have "lived simply"—relative to their contemporaries—throughout history. (Thoreau, anyone?) And people are living simply today, to various degrees. (Sorry, but reading "Real Simple" magazine doesn't qualify.) Going off the grid might be an extreme lifestyle modification for most of us, but we can glean a lot of valuable ideas from those involved in voluntary simplicity, homesteading or sustainable living.
I recently discovered the blog for Path to Freedom.
PTF is a not for profit, family operated, viable urban homesteading project established to promote a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle and reduce one family's "footprint" on the earth's dwindling resources.

It's interesting to follow their journey. They do small-level farming; make their own bio-diesel, which fuels their car on a limited basis; use hand-powered appliances; do crafts; practice homeopathy and more. Among the five people involved in the project, they've taken two airplane trips in 25 years. (Eek; I'm not good at reducing my use of airplanes.)

Frugal for Life is another good site to visit. The site's author is more focused on living within one's means, but, again, that has a positive effect on the environment. I like her 8 Ways to Help Yourself Simplify. They're incredibly basic—common sense, even—but our society hasn't taught us to think this way, so it's always good to reinforce it.

Self-sufficient ish has a wealth of information—look at the links on the sides of the blog. They range from recipes to how to grow an organic container garden to making a solar oven to making plant pots out of newspaper to homebrewing.

I'll raise a glass of homebrew to frugality any day.

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