Sunday, November 05, 2006

Being Rich Is Easy

It’s so easy. The more I learn, the easier I realize it is. I’m trying to live a sustainable lifestyle. I’m not where I want to be but I’m making progress.

This weekend I’m taking a class (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) on Solar Greenhouse Design. I built a greenhouse 20 years ago with some passive solar features but this one will be much, much better.

Why sustainable? There are several reasons and they are selfish reasons. I enjoy being self sufficient and relying on myself and my abilities. I enjoy the challenge of planning a project and fulfilling it. I enjoy learning. I enjoy thinking about my death and knowing that I’m trying to preserve for others this beautiful and wonderful world that has so enriched my life.

In the corner of our kitchen are drawers labeled “glass & metal”, “P1 & P2” (for plastic 1 and 2) and “paper”. Under our sink is the compost jar. We try to minimize our waste and recycle as much as possible. We get our electric from the wind and sun. We haul our water, minimize consumption, do some rainwater harvesting and have materials and plans for more harvesting. We live on ten unfenced acres but use only about one acre. The remaining land is for wildlife and to provide a sense of nature and space.

It’s so easy! Julie and I don’t struggle or find it to be tiring. On the contrary, we find it enriches our lives. The less we own and consume, the richer we are.

Cutting a joist
Picking up trash during a semi-annual road clean up.

5 Comments:

Blogger robin andrea said...

That's the definition of the good life, as I know it! Live well, and leave a small footprint. I hope your solar greenhouse design class goes well. Roger moved our greenhouse (with a come-along inch by inch) to be better situated on our little piece of land. It was very productive over the summer. Learning something new everyday!

11/05/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Any one can talk the talk. That you walk the walk is a shinin' thing.

11/05/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger whitesnake said...

It is wonderful to read that there are still people like you out there.

You have to really want to do it to achieve it.

11/05/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger THE Michael said...

I wish I was you! I would dearly LOVE to do exactly what you've done, only my gas and electric bills leave me with nothing to put towards solar. I DO compost, have left my property fairly natural, and recycle what I can. If I knew then (back before I pissed all my money away) what I know now, this place WOULD be off the grid and I wouldn't have an electric bill. I'm so happy to know you've allowed your extra land to go unmolested, or sold it to developers. YOU GO, PAUL!

11/05/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger MojoMan said...

I eagerly look forward to your tales of living off the grid. I admire your commitment to sustainable living.

I have visited Cosanti and Arcosanti, experimental sustainable communtities by architect Paolo Solari in Arizona. He might argue that we can't all live sustainably on our own little plot of land. There's simply not enough land for 6+ billion people. The most efficient way to live is in dense communities where resources are carefully shared.

The American Dream is seductive, but I think this is something worth considering.

11/06/2006 03:47:00 PM  

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