I’m all about living in a self-sufficient manner and independent of destructive systems. I feel that truly self sufficient and independent living is done off the land away from the invasiveness of our current wasteful and destructive standard. This would most truly be done by living off the grid, a fair distance from populated regions where there is land and resources to sustain oneself. A hand built log cabin in the woods on a pristine river with a big garden would do the trick for example. This could be done with family or a small community to keep loneliness from overtaking the mind.
I talk to countless people who want to live a more earth friendly lifestyle and pursue their true passions but explain to me that they are just too caught up in the rat race. By this I mean working a job to earn money and then paying bills and debt and not having the free time to live the life they truly desire. A vast majority of Americans are in debt and so often working to get from month to month with bills.
Unless you go completely back to the basics you are always going to cause some environmental harm and spend some money to get your clothes clean. This guide is here to help you save money, reduce your environmental impact, and spend less time doing laundry! The more you do, the more you’ll be living a fair life for the earth and the more money you’ll save. But of course doing some of it is always better than none of it. I recommend you adapt these tips into your life one or a few at a time to transition into a more earth friendly and free life.
I’ve gone to some pretty extreme measures to assess how electricity is interwoven into my life. In 2013 I bicycled Off the Grid Across the USA and vowed to use only electricity generated by the small solar panels I carried with me. In 104 days of traveling across the United States I managed to not turn on a single light switch and only plug into five outlets. Right now I live off the grid in a tiny house and all of my energy needs are met by two small solar panels.
Through these adventures I learned that my life was truly electrified. So much of what we do involves using electricity. At so many moments in the day we are burning fossil fuels through electricity without thinking about it for a second. To many of us it would seem that electricity is equally important for survival as water. By going back to the basics and unraveling the electrical cords around my life I have a new insight on the day to day actions that are occurring around me.
You read that right, I compost my own poop. I live off the grid in a little house in San Diego and I compost my own poop. You might have some questions like:
Is this safe?
Is this stinky?
Haven’t we evolved past having to deal with our own poop?
I’ll let this video do the explaining:
I remember sitting in the living room of my apartment in San Diego in the summer of 2012. My friend Greg had just gotten rid of his smart phone and traded it in for an old school flip phone. It looked so inconvenient to use. Texting looked like a burden, as did having to call in to listen to voicemails. It did not have access to the Internet. It made me nervous just to think about trying to use that thing to get my work done and keep in touch with friends. I thought I couldn’t live my life without a smart phone.
I’m absolutely elated to announce that I’m embarking on an epic new journey with Discovery International! In a new show called Free Ride, filmmaker James Levelle and I are trekking across South America with no money relying on our ingenuity and the kindness of strangers. Here’s the words from Discovery International:
This might sound bold but I’m going to put myself out there.
Am I Southern California’s most water-conscious resident?
I use less than 5 gallons of water per day, harvest rainwater, poop in a compost toilet, shower in the ocean, and use most of my water at least twice!
I’m definitely doing my part to beat the drought but I’ll let this video do the rest of the talking for me:
At one point in my life I had about 7 credit cards. I played the point systems and was really good at avoiding fees while earning reward points for traveling. I flew to Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, and throughout the USA for close to free just by using my card for transactions rather than cash. I would also shuffle money around between 0% interest cards so that I could have debt without actually paying much interest on it. This allowed me to do things that I wouldn’t actually be able to afford at the time and then work it off later (usually within 6-18 months as that was the length of the 0% intro APR’s). By canceling out cards and starting new ones I managed to work the system pretty well, all without breaking any of their rules. I didn’t morally support the companies, but I figured that by using them in my favor I could take much more from them than they were getting from me. In this manner I felt I was not really supporting them, but rather taking from “the man”.
Not that long ago I had an entire cabinet full of products to put on my body. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, lotion, cologne, soap, face wash, astringent, toothpaste, mouth wash, and chapstick are a few of the things I can remember but there were more I’m sure. I thought I needed it to look good, smell good, feel good, and be healthy. I also thought since well-known companies made it, that it must all be safe. I assumed I couldn’t really go wrong with an American brand sold in an American store. Everything changed when I started doing a little research. I learned that I’d been persuaded to buy stuff I didn’t really need and had been lied to about the true effects of their products.