With some big announcements to come soon, I could easily begin coasting through life right now. This year I’m working on a documentary, publishing a book, and I’m also in talks with multiple networks about a TV show. Rather than coast though I am leading by example more than ever before. I’m not in this for the money or the fame. I’m in it to create a just world full of happiness, health, and equality for all. So I’ve vowed to donate 90% of my earnings to happiness, health, and freedom for all.
This is the least amount of stuff I’ve owned, quite possibly since the beginning of my owning of stuff.
For years and years I wanted stuff and I wanted a lot of it. I grew up thinking that a big house behind a big fence was what I wanted when I was older. I dreamed of having a really shiny car. I wanted boats and jet skis. I wanted to really impress people with my stuff.
Not that long ago, my main priorities included binge drinking every weekend, looking good, and macking on pretty much every good looking girl I saw. I also wanted to be rich and to own lots of really impressive things. I was pretty tuned into that life and didn’t really think too much about how my actions affected the environment, people around the world, and the animals that we share the earth with. I was pretty selfish and if I did think about my actions I certainly didn’t do much about it. I did recycle, shut off the lights and water, and eat healthier than the average person I knew and I thought that was doing pretty good. But the list of negative environmental impacts was far greater than my positive impacts (which was nearly nonexistent). I owned two cars, shopped at Walmart for my food and my cheap crap, drank the cheapest beer I could find, took home my share of plastic bags, wasted plenty of water, ate too much meat, needed the newest gadgets always, and the list could go on and on. Not that any of these things are inherently bad but they definitely were not deeply serving myself or the earth.
As I write this I am traveling the USA without a penny in my pocket. I left my home in San Diego on June 2nd with $2,000 cash and on August 12th I took a leap of faith in humanity and gave the last $421 I had with me to a non-profit. I made the goal that day of finishing my ride to New York City moneyless just to prove to myself and others that it is possible. Today I arrived in New York City on my bicycle, still without a penny in my pocket. People have tried to give me money but I have easily refused it.
This experience is about much more than just not spending money. It’s about showing that you and I can be contributing members to society whether we have money or not. It’s about showing that there are much more rewarding ways to live than just throwing money at every situation. It’s about living a life that is truly beneficial to the earth, my community, and myself. It’s about being more involved in our communities and treating each other with respect. And it’s also about teaching you how to live with less money so that you can follow your dreams and live independently of corrupted systems that don’t serve your best interests.
I just received a notice to vacate from my landlord. They have given me 60 days. We’ve had a great relationship for the last 3.5 years and I’ve always paid rent on time. I was a pretty easy tenant for them and pretty ideal in my mind. The reason that they’re sending me on my way is that I rent the apartment from them and sublet out the bedrooms for short-term stays. I provide furnished rooms in a furnished home for people to stay at a great price and that allows me to live rent-free in my little 36 square foot closet room. I have done that for three years, knowing that it was against the term of my lease, but also assuming my landlords probably knew since a simple Craigslist or Airbnb search by them would have found my ads. Plus all the different people staying at my house all the time was a pretty dead give away.
The sharing economy is sweeping the United States by storm. Rather than purchasing something you would rarely use, the sharing economy involves collaborative consumption to get the same job done. Some of these transactions include barter, some a monetary transaction, and others are entirely free. Below we take a look at some very popular categories, some websites in each category, and our opinions on the picks.
To create the world you wish to be a part of you must start from within. Leading by example is a very simple and effective means to influence your peers and community. Here are some simple ways to gain happiness and health for yourself while living a life that is beneficial to the earth and your community as well.