Plastic pollution is devastating our oceans. Every year, 30 billion single-use plastic water bottles are sold. They end up in our waterways. Companies make us believe we need their water, but the truth is that bottled is less regulated than tap, and can be 1,000 times more expensive. Historic water fountains have disappeared in many communities, but there are still taps.
After 3 years in the making, I’m so excited to finally bring to you my Sustainable Living Series. The series documents my off the grid bike ride across America on a bamboo bicycle where I practiced sustainable living to the extreme. In 4,700 miles of cycling, I used just 160 gallons of water, burned less than one gallon of gas, never turned on a light switch and created only 2 pounds of trash. That is 80x less water, 200x less trash, 600x less fossil fuels, and 1,000 times less electricity than the average American! Plus I ate nearly 300 pounds of food from grocery store dumpsters to prove just how much perfectly good food we’re wasting in the USA.
The things I did were extreme but in this series you’ll learn how your daily actions affect the world around you both near and far. The episodes are food, waste, water, transportation, and energy and each episode informs you in an inspirational and fun way. By the end of the series, you will know the basics behind sustainable living and what you can do to live more sustainably without going nearly to the extremes that I did on my journey. Each episode ends with what you can do to be the change you wish to see.
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.
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:
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:
I’ve survived off a leaky fire hydrant in Brooklyn, biked across the USA without turning on a tap, and lived off the grid using less than 5 gallons of water per day, all to draw attention to how much water we use in America. These adventures were all very challenging, even for me, but the good news is you don’t have to do any of them. You can simply just use water wisely and I’ve written this simple guide that will help you do that exactly
This is a very simple and practical guide on how you can use way less water. But before I get into the tips on how to reduce your water here’s a bit of information about water usage and why you might want to use less of it.
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!
I recently wrote a story called Lessons Learned from a Year without Showering that was picked up by The Huffington Post. If you haven’t read it the link is there, but basically I went a year without taking a conventional shower and instead just went for a swim when I found a lake, river, or ocean. The story created quite a splash, but why, oh why, would I do something so silly?
One word can sum it all up: freedom.
Freedom from ourselves, freedom from social norms, freedom from money, and freedom from systems that don’t serve our best interest. My activism goes much deeper than the simple act of bathing and it seems most people got the message but here it is again, loud and clear.
*Update 04/20/2015- Today is my 2 year no-shower anniversary! Enjoy the story I wrote a year ago today:
As of today it has been one year since my last shower. Yes, I know that sounds crazy and a year ago I would have agreed with you. I was a regular showering guy for the first 26 years of my life. Well, maybe not every single day, but just about.
So how does a regular showering guy end up going 365 days and counting without taking a shower? It started with a long bike ride across America to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living. I set a bunch of rules for myself to follow to lead by example. The rule for water was that I could only harvest it from natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and rain or from wasted sources such as leaky faucets. And I kept track of exactly how much I used too, with an aim of showing just how little we need to get by.