Taking better care of ourselves, our families, and the world around us.
Taking better care of ourselves, our families, and the world around us.
You value ethical living, real food, and healthy families. You want to live in ways that don't keep unraveling life on earth so your kids and grandkids can get a fair deal.
AND, you need to do it in ways that are manageable for you.
You need affordable steps that make your life easier, not harder.
And you need to hear ideas and concepts that bring a sense of relief and hope, not guilt and despair.
Is that how you feel?
Hi. I'm Kate.
I’m a homeschooling mother of two. I'm an advocate for real, local food and simple, natural living. And I'm a writer and teacher.
I’m deeply interested in health.
To me, health is not just about physical well-being, but also social, mental/emotional, and spiritual well-being. And, I believe that in order for individuals to be healthy our families, communities, and environments must be healthy, and vice versa. It’s all connected.
That’s why for the last 15 years my mission has been to learn to care for myself and my family in ways that build and regenerate all aspects of health. Our own health (mental, emotional and physical). Our families' and communities' health. And the health of our ecosystems and environment.
Yes, that's big and it can seem complex. But it can be broken down into small, simple steps. I've found that the simplest ways are the most effective ways and that the smallest steps are the most sustainable.
I don't expect ever to get it all entirely figured out. But I’ve come a long way, I feel confident in my direction, and I’m ready to help you find the small steps and the approaches that might work for yourself and your family.
Hi, I'm Kate
I’m a homeschooling mother of two, an advocate for real, local food and simple, natural living, and a writer and teacher.
I’m deeply interested in health. I believe that “health” is not only physical but also has social and spiritual dimensions, and that for individuals to be healthy our families, communities, and environments must be healthy. And vice versa. It’s all connected.
That’s why for the last 15 years my mission has been to learn to care for myself and my family in ways that build and regenerate all aspects of health.
It’s complex. I don’t have it all figured out yet, far from it. But I’ve come a long way, I feel confident in my direction, and I’m ready to help you do the same for yourself and your family.
Wondering where to start? I have a suggestion...
What we put in our shopping trolleys and baskets impacts our own health, obviously, but it goes way beyond that. Our basic shopping choices also directly effect the ecosystems and communities that produce our consumables and those that absorb the by-products and waste-products of what we eat and use.
Since we're making these choices every day anyway, paying more attention to them is a small but significant way to help - without adding anything extra to your to-do list.
Use my free Guide to Healthier Shopping Habits as a starting point. The ideas in it will help you think through your shopping choices more clearly, and they might also save you money.
Imagine being able to...
- rely less on supermarkets, pharmacies, and the whole industrial complex -- so you can live a healthy life that doesn't cost the earth
- grow some of your own food and feel a sense of accomplishment and improved health
- meet your family's food and basic healthcare needs more economically, using simple ingredients with less toxins, less packaging, less waste, more meaning, and better ethics
- parent yourself compassionately so you can be more effective at taking care of what matters to you
- feel connected and comfortable in the relationships, communities and ecosystems that hold you, knowing you're supported by them and also accountable to them
If that sounds appealing, please keep reading - you and I have a lot to talk about and there's a lot we can do together.
I make two kinds of offerings on A Real Green Life:
- Practical, as in "how-to-do-things," and
- Philosophical, as in "who am I, why am I doing things the way I'm doing them, and might there be an easier or healthier way?"
Here's a bit more about each of these.
I share hands on, step-by-step learning about practical skills of self-reliance. My goal is to help you decrease your reliance on industrial foods, pharmaceuticals, and toxic cleaning products by showing you (one small step at a time) how to:
- grow some of your own food to reduce your costs and increase the nutrient density and cleanliness of what you eat
- ditch the packaged convenience food aisles and gradually replace them with real, whole, foods and wise, frugal kitchen strategies improve your nutrition, without taking as much of your time as you might be thinking (to get started with these supermarket shopping changes, check out my free guide above)
- ditch the two most toxic aisles in the supermarket—the cleaning aisle and the bathroom aisle—and replace them with simple, healthy alternatives that you can make at home from basic ingredients for a fraction of the cost
- make some of your basic healthcare needs cheaply and simply, to reduce your exposure to the health threats hidden in pharmaceuticals
I share stories and ideas about empowerment, perspective, and hope. My goal with this part of my work is to help you examine the stories we've been living in--about who we are, how our world works, and our role in it--and choose whether you want your life to extend these same stories or tell different ones.
Here's what I mean by "real" and "green"
I use the word "Real" in the sense that it's focused on what's real and important to you. It's living according to your values, as opposed to allowing your life to be driven by capitalism and consumerism.
I use the word "Green" in the sense that it's about making choices that are as regenerative as possible, or at least that do no harm. Industrialization and consumerism have conditioned us to live in ways that are extractive and destructive. A Real Green Life recognizes that conditioning and explores ways to undo it.
When you sincerely commit to simply caring for your self and your family with a focus on your truest values, you are indirectly taking care of the Whole. This is what I call living a Real Green Life.
"Business as usual," vs "a real, green life"
Business as usual
Real and green
Industrial farming and food manufacturing, supermarket food, fast food, people eating in a rush or eating alone
Real food, grown in healthy ecosystems, local, seasonal, slow, homemade, people eating and sharing with enjoyment
Giant mono-culture farms, depleted ecosystems, shrinking biodiversity, disappearing top soil and dwindling indigenous knowledge about food and place
Small diverse farms, cottage industry, stable farming communities and ecosystems, room for indigenous people to continue their traditional lifestyles and ways for them to share their wisdom and perspectives
A growth-at-all-costs global economy dominated by a few giant corporations who sell to the entire world
A steady state economy dominated by millions of small businesses who serve local communities
Low-quality mass produced products, poorly paid workers, world-wide distribution, a linear progression from raw material to disposable products to landfill
Locally made, fair trade goods, designed to last, a circular economy recycling and re-using materials
Dependence on supermarkets, superstores, government institutions, and experts; loss of personal autonomy
Increasing self-reliance, learning/remembering how to think for ourselves, re-building the skills of self-sufficiency and interdependence
People living lives of quite desperation on the up-sizing treadmill
A meaningful life, with fewer possessions and richer connections to family, community, and nature
Readers have said...
"Well researched, honest and inspiring..
Kate is a regular contributing author to Permaculture News and I always look forward to receiving her articles. They are always thought provoking, well researched, honest and inspiring. Kate's articles either present different perspectives or share valuable knowledge, hints and tips. I know the wider Permaculture community also appreciate Kate's contributions; many comments are shared on her posts. Thanks Kate.
Permaculture News Editor - PermacultureNews.org
"Honest, genuine, thought provoking...
As a homeschooling Mum pursuing a more meaningful life for my family, ARealGreenLife supports me in questioning and expanding my existing world view."
"Love your non-threatening, easy to read, commonsense style.
Reading ARealGreenLife offers people the opportunity to question what, where, how, and why they live the way they do.
So much interesting and important info, neatly packaged, no fluff. "
"Insightful ideas and concepts...
I love your stuff - you come up with very insightful ideas and concepts. For example, I never realized that essential oils had become such a big industry that it was impacting on the environment.
"Realizing how numb we are...
Dear Kate, Thank you for posting such deep and thought provoking blog posts. ... I think you are doing a great service to make us all aware of the consequences of our actions. It makes me realize how numb we are, and how comfortable it is to be numb, just doing what everyone else does and not questioning the real, true and deep impacts of our lives."
"Food for thought...
I subscribe to quite a few homestead/green lifestyle newsletters. Yours is so relatable, informative, and gives excellent food for thought; Get Off the Bus is a great example. Thanks so much for your work. Cheers from a Nova Scotia!"
Raven's Ridge Permaculture
Thank you Kate. You express your insights and understandings lucidly...
I appreciate the broad perspective you share on subjects that are meaningful to you—social, spiritual, environmental, economical—and the research and reading you do to inform your writing."
Recent Posts about creating healthier supermarket shopping habits...
(and there's a free guide here that accompanies these posts)
Reducing our supermarket reliance means we can spend less, live better, and look our grandchildren in the eye. This post shares 3 strategies to get you started.
Strategy #4 to help you dethrone the supermarket giants. Includes a link to the previous 3 strategies.
Our physical and social environments have huge influence on our habits and behaviors. People who design supermarkets and sell products know this and take full advantage of it. This post will help you examine what’s shaping your shopping routines and your buying decisions, and learn how to change them.
Whole foods require more planning and organization than processed convenience foods, but the pay-off is worth it. The benefits include: better nutrition, a feeling of empowerment and reconnection as you learn to engage with your food closer to its source, and the satisfaction in knowing you’re taking better care of the Earth just by how you eat.
7 small ways to start growing your own food, improving your nutrition, and lowering your grocery costs – even if you’re short on time, space, or confidence.
Recently updated posts
I used to think chokos were boring, bland, and not very useful, but I’ve changed my mind. Here are 6 of the ways I use chokos and choko vines since I gained a better appreciation for them.
6 Salad bowl contenders that can handle heat and high humidity. The 7th plant can make a nutritious salad by itself if you have the right growing niche for it. Plus a tip on getting the most nutrition from your salad greens. UPDATED July 2023.
Wild edibles (aka weeds) provide better nutrition than supermarkets ever can, for free.
The herb yarrow (Achillea millefoleum) has many uses. Its particularly well known for its ability to quickly stop blood loss and help heal wounds.
How I came to swear by yarrow (Achillea millefolium) for oral health care and particularly for gum health.
The lunar cycle offers us a template for reconnecting to Nature and living in more balanced, regenerative ways. In this post: lunar cycle and full moon concepts I’ve been learning about, along with the journal prompts I use at the time of the Full Moon.
We all have an inner life — an inner “garden.” When we neglect it, the useful, beautiful things in it whither and diminish, and the weeds take over. This post shares ways to help your inner garden thrive by tending it in alignment with Nature’s seasons.