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.
Many of you may be wondering what my financial situation is. I get that question often which makes sense since most of us feel that we need enough money to be able to really pursue our passions. I’ve poured my heart into this response.
My net worth is a little under $15,000. This includes all the money I have and every possession that I own. I have $3,200 cash right now and some of my more valuable possessions include my house ($950), bicycle ($2,000), camera ($2,000), computer ($1,000), and clothing ($1,800). I have no debt and not a credit card to my name. Some would say I’m in poverty and strictly in financial terms they’d be right. However, I’m far from living a life of poverty.
I desire to put an end to food waste and hunger in the United States. Sure, it’s a lofty goal, a seriously lofty goal, but I believe that it is possible. In my youth, I see a time when every dumpster in the United States is completely void of all food. But in the mean time our dumpsters are full of perfectly good food and we may as well eat it! First and foremost, I encourage grocery stores to donate their excess food rather than throw it in the dumpster. But in the case of their social and environmental negligence, I encourage people to get out there, dive into dumpsters, eat the food, share the food, and raise awareness about food waste and hunger.
I want you to hit the dumpsters! Even if you don’t want to eat it or collect it for others I still encourage you to go see the waste for yourself.
Kombucha is Nature’s Healthy Soda and one of my favorite things on earth. I got turned onto it a few years ago and have been consistently brewing my own ever since. It’s amazing how easy it is to make considering I used to buy everything in a package from big box supermarkets. I had no clue how to make anything that didn’t come in a package. Making my own Kombucha was a simple yet huge step in living with more happiness, health, and freedom. It’s completely eye opening to learn that just about everything at the grocery store can be made very easily at home. When I make my own food from scratch, I know what is and isn’t in it. No long ingredient lists with mystery ingredients for me.
Composting is really simple and something that just about anyone can do. If you’ve had any worries about whether or not you can do it you can drop those right now. Composting can be done at your home, school, work, or just about anywhere. The earth even does most of the work for us. You just have to give it a little place to do the work.
This is a simple guide of how to start composting and how to make it work!
In the fall of 2010, I packed most of my belongings into my car and left Wisconsin in search of a warmer climate and new sites. I was also in need of distance from the girl I loved but really I had wanted to get out of the state anyways. I was 24 at the time and my car was a good companion, providing me with the freedom to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I made my way down to Florida exploring many of the great states in between and after just a month down there I drove across the country to San Diego, where I still live today.
I met Liselotte through Facebook when she commented on one of my posts, saying she is “dumpster diving her way through her PhD.” I wanted to learn more, so I invited her to do a guest blog for my website. She is an intelligent and inspirational woman doing good for the Earth and the people around her. I just had to share her wonderful story, so here it is!
When I started my PhD in environmental psychology in October 2014, I had been dumpster diving for a while, but I wanted to take it to the next level. The goal was to save as much money as possible so that I would be able to buy a nice block of land after these three years, build a simple eco-home and live mostly self-sustainably after that.