Sustainable Living

I define a “sustainable lifestyle” as one that is regenerative for ourselves, our families and communities, and our ecosystems. Everything is connected; good health for any one of these elements relies on good health for all of them.

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​Something needs to change 
​​​We must do the work ourselves—here and now—in our own kitchens, gardens and communities.

​If you are reading this, most likely you're at least a little concerned about the trajectory that we humans are on. ​Maybe, like me, there are moments ​when you are terrified about it. 

We're living in a house of cards​. 

We are outsourcing our needs to production methods that deplete our atmosphere, soils, water, ecosystems and ​communities, and that are reliant on rapidly shrinking reserves of fossil fuels.

The apparent affluence on the shelves of supermarkets and superstores is part of an illusion. The idea that you can afford to care more about the model of car you drive than about what's happening in the world around you, ​is part of an illusion. They are part of a collective ​lack of awareness that something has gone very, very wrong. 

At the risk of stating the obvious, something needs to change.

Exactly what needs to change, how it should change, and who should do ​the work, are topics that continue to be flogged to death in discussions at every level, but discussion is much more valuable and productive if we also take action. 

Small actions are best, that we can learn from, that we can build on. Action at a level we can sustain.

And since governments, institutions and corporations are too busy squabbling over details and profit margins to take meaningful action, its up to us to get on with the job.

Its up to us, in our own kitchens, gardens, and communities​. Here and now. To get on with providing for ourselves and living in ways that regenerate, rather than depleting, the web of life we rely on.

This topic​Sustainable Living​is ​all about getting on with it. 


​​Sustainable Living Post Collections

​Here are ​my collections of ​"​Sustainable Living" posts​. Use the links to jump to a post summary, or just scroll down. Some posts ​appear in more than one collection.


Real Food ​​

Industrial food production has ​broken the ​​connections ​between ​us and our food, ​our food growers, and our food growing ecosystems.

​​​​I define "Real Food" ​as food that repairs ​those broken connections, and rebuilds health on all ​those levels. ​

Real Milk

How our house cow, her calf, the good bugs on the cow's udder, and the land that the cow and calf and I stand on, all combine to bring real milk to our kitchen.

Real Food

What we eat illuminates the relationship—or lack of it—between us and our natural world. It also directly influences the way our living planet is used.

Regenerative Farming and Gardening

Regenerative gardening and farming has an intention to feed people, AND to leave the entire web of life stronger, richer, more complex and more resilient, rather than less so.

How did Organ Meats become “Awful” (Offal)?

In traditional cultures, organ meats were considered to be the animals’ most nutritious, most precious, gift to humanity. In modern society, we’re repelled by the idea of eating organ meats. What happened?

On Eating Meat

"Happy meat" comes from animals raised in ecosystems, not cages. What if you can't raise your own animals? Can you still eat happy meat? What if you've chosen a vegetarian lifestyle to protect animals from exploitation?

Ditching the Supermarket

The complex web of connections and consequences attached to our supermarket choices.

Real Food does not come from Supermarkets: 6 Steps to Homegrown Veggies

How I got from "I don't think I could grow brassicas," to "Ooh look – a cauliflower!"

​Homegrown Plant Foods

​​We grow ​most ​of our ​vegetables, all of our salad greens, and a small but increasing amount of our other plant food needs. 

This post collection shares what we're learning ​in the process, and ​​​the philosoph​ies and methodologies we're inspired by.

Regenerative Farming and Gardening

Regenerative gardening and farming has an intention to feed people, AND to leave the entire web of life stronger, richer, more complex and more resilient, rather than less so.

8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants and how to use them

8 of my favorite multi-purpose fodder-and-food plants, and some of the ways I use them.

5 Cut and Carry Goat Fodder Plants that Poultry, Pigs, Cattle and People can also eat

This article lists 5 plants for a cut and carry goat fodder system, that also serve lots of other needs as well.

Real Food does not come from Supermarkets: 6 Steps to Homegrown Veggies

How I got from "I don't think I could grow brassicas," to "Ooh look – a cauliflower!"

7 Ways to use the Humble Choko Vine

I used to think chokos were boring, bland, and not very useful, but I've changed my mind. This short article shares 7 of the ways I use chokos and choko vines since I gained a better appreciation for them.

​Homegrown Animal Fodder

​Relying on feed stores to help us raise our animals still keeps us dependent on Industrialized Agriculture. 

This post collection shares what we're learning in our efforts to grow our own animal feed.

8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants and how to use them

8 of my favorite multi-purpose fodder-and-food plants, and some of the ways I use them.

5 Cut and Carry Goat Fodder Plants that Poultry, Pigs, Cattle and People can also eat

This article lists 5 plants for a cut and carry goat fodder system, that also serve lots of other needs as well.

7 Ways to use the Humble Choko Vine

I used to think chokos were boring, bland, and not very useful, but I've changed my mind. This short article shares 7 of the ways I use chokos and choko vines since I gained a better appreciation for them.

​Homegrown ​Meat, Milk & Eggs

​​Here is what we're learning ​about raising happy meat, milk and eggs in real ecosystems.

Real Milk

How our house cow, her calf, the good bugs on the cow's udder, and the land that the cow and calf and I stand on, all combine to bring real milk to our kitchen.

How did Organ Meats become “Awful” (Offal)?

In traditional cultures, organ meats were considered to be the animals’ most nutritious, most precious, gift to humanity. In modern society, we’re repelled by the idea of eating organ meats. What happened?

On Eating Meat

"Happy meat" comes from animals raised in ecosystems, not cages. What if you can't raise your own animals? Can you still eat happy meat? What if you've chosen a vegetarian lifestyle to protect animals from exploitation?

8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants and how to use them

8 of my favorite multi-purpose fodder-and-food plants, and some of the ways I use them.

5 Cut and Carry Goat Fodder Plants that Poultry, Pigs, Cattle and People can also eat

This article lists 5 plants for a cut and carry goat fodder system, that also serve lots of other needs as well.

​​Why You Procrastinate, and What to Do About It

A 5-Part Series ​about ​​the real source of your procrastination, and how you can work with it rather than fighting it. 

What do Lizards, Procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with Your Brain?

(Part 1 in a Series)

Introducing the lizard that lives in the base of your skull: the source of all your resistance to difficult, boring, or uncomfortable tasks.

What do Lizards and Procrastination have to do with Your Brain?

(Part 2 in a Series)

Feeling overwhelmed, distracted, unmotivated, or unable to prioritize effectively, are not “weaknesses.” They are strategies that your lizard brain uses to try to keep you safe and comfortable in the present moment.

How to make distractions lead you where you want to go

(Part 3 in a Series)

You have a lizard on the control panel who is obsessed with comfort and wants immediate gratification. What can you do to work with this, instead of fighting it?

How to influence your own behavior, in advance

(Part 4 in a Series)

The question is not, "Will you be distracted?" but, "What will distract you?" Is there a way to design the path of least resistance so it still leads in the right direction?

How to get beyond overwhelm

(Part 5 in a Series)

When you picture something important that you want to change / create / develop, your lizard identifies every potential threat to your project. Result: You feel like it won't be safe to start, till you know how to deal with Every. Little. Detail.

About you and your family…
Trigger goes here
A real green life: for ​you, your family, and our living planet.
Household and personal care products
The bewildering array of products in the cleaning and personal care aisles of the supermarket are in my opinion almost entirely unnecessary.
They are an example of how entire industries can grow up on the back of a series of cleverly presented suggestions to the unsuspecting public that they need this particular thing – in spite of the fact that umpteen prior generations got along fine without it.
A staggering proportion of them are also poisonous to you, your family, and the ecosystems that produce your food and drinking water.
Actually, let me restate that: almost all of them, not just a proportion, are poisonous. The only thing that varies is the degree to which they are poisonous.
Even a brief exploration into what their ingredient lists actually mean, is mind boggling.
( I researched the term “toxicants” – defined as “toxic substances made by humans or introduced into the environment by humans” for an article once…
I started out trying to comprehend the stupefying array of toxic substances used in the manufacturing of items seen as necessary for every facet of modern life, and was unable to go the distance. I ended up abandoning the entire project.
I concluded that most of the products and items I looked at with toxic substances in them are unnecessary, and for those that aren’t, it’s just simpler and safer to grow or make your own, or buy from a small supplier you trust, who uses ingredients you can recognize.)
Back to the topic at hand. Simply stated, almost everything in the personal care and cleaning aisle of the supermarket is:

expensive,
wastefully packaged,
poisonous to varying degrees, and
largely unnecessary.

So why do we use them? Well, let’s see. We use them because:

Endlessly sophisticated marketing campaigns wash over us constantly, programming us to assume we need them
Our friends and peers use them, and we must keep up with the Joneses
There are not many channels for us to learn that we don't actually need most of them, that they are detrimental to our health and the health of our environment, and that it’s really not hard to make healthy, simple alternatives for the few we do need
What channels for this information do exist are not funded in the way that the campaigns encouraging us to buy are funded.

I avoid the bathroom and cleaning aisles in the supermarket as much as I possibly can, and I have a goal to boycott them completely.
That’s much better for our personal health, our family budget, the soils that grow our food, the air we breathe, the life in the oceans, and the water we drink.