Past & Future Steps

Past Steps:


– Subscribe to a community supported agriculture (CSA) program

– Make own cheese, yogurt, ice cream, bread, tortilla, dumplings, beer, jam, and jelly

– Roast coffee

– Sprout mung beans and alfalfa sprouts

– Grow shiitake mushrooms

– Bake and cook from scratch

– Buy in bulk

– Eat local, seasonally, and/ or organic

– Preserve harvest by canning and freezing

– Store harvest by root cellaring

– Keep bees for honey  – NEW


– Grow over 100 different vegetables, herbs, fruits, and trees

– Use soil blocks to start potless seedlings

– Engage in Biointensive organic gardening method

– Save seeds

– Stake plants using recycled bamboo

– Built rain garden using native plants and flowers

– Use hand-powered garden tools

– Mow grass with scythe

– Use recycled bricks as garden edges

– Keep bees for pollination – NEW

– Attract birds to control pests naturally


– Compost food, garden and green waste, using Compostumbler, Enviro Cycle, and compost pile

Backyard Poultry:

– Raise three Dominique chickens and three Khaki Campbell duck for eggs and manure

– Built mobile chicken tractor using recycled materials

Energy Conservation:

– Use compact florescent lighbulbs and power strips

– Hang dry clothes on rack made from recycled bamboo

– Installed energy-efficient and/ or hand-crank appliances

– Cook with solar oven

– Charge electric devices with solar electric device charger – NEW

– Insulated house, wall, and attic

– Installed double-pane windows

– Conducted an energy audit of the house

– Caulking the house

– Installed a 16 SEER HVAC system – NEW

Water Conservation:

– Reclaim greywater

– Installed four rain barrels

– Mulch garden with shredded newspaper

– Built rain garden to capture runoff water

– Installed low-flush toilets

– Installed low-flow showerhead with an on/ off valve – NEW

– Installed low-flow faucet aerators – NEW

– Installed Toilet Lid Sink – NEW

– Installing drip irrigation system

– Turning lawn into edible landscaping

Urban Foraging:

– Hunt mushrooms

– Forage wild plums, mulberries, blackberries, elderberries, muscadines, huckleberries, hickory nuts, black walnuts, and persimmons

Green Home:

– Clean with biodegradable, non-toxic homemade cleaning products

– Clean with cloth instead of paper towels

– Use recycled toilet paper

– Control pests with Diatomaceous Earth

Personal Care:

– Use biodegradable, fragrance-free personal care products

– Replaced disposable feminine products with reusable cloth pads

Green Workplace:

– Compost at office

– No office trash for over 7 months

– Printed business cards on recycled paper with soy-based ink

– Instituted office recycling program

– Persuaded work to switch to biodegradable paper cups, plates, utensils, and cleaning products

– Refill printer cartridge ink

– Turn off computers at night

– Print on recycled papers

– Shred documents with hand crank paper shredder – NEW

Low Impact Living:

– Reduce, reuse & recycle

– Recycle once every 2 weeks

– Throw away trash once every 6 weeks, using trash bag made from recycled materials

– Go to stores once a month

– Buy in bulk

– Salvage or buy used from thrift stores, Freecycle, Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, etc.

– Use canvas bags on shopping trips

– Borrow books and DVDs from library

– Pay bills online

– Read news online

– Carry reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, and utensils

– Support local businesses

– Knit


– 5 car-free days a week

– Walk

– Bike

– Drive a compact car that gets 24 MPG in city and 32 MPG on highway

– Fuel up once a month

– Inflate tires

– When biking, carry stuff in a bucket pannier made out of recycled kitty litter buckets – NEW

Future Steps:

Cob Oven – Winemaking – Water Heater Blanket – Mead Making – Solar Panels – Sewing – Quilting – Soapmaking – Solar Radio – Biodiesel – Outdoor Solar Shower – Metal Roof – Solar Water Heater – Greywater Reclamation System – Wood Stove – Passive Cooling – Carpentry – Seal Crawl Space – Green Roof – Composting Toilet


3 responses to “Past & Future Steps

  1. Hi,
    I have been obsessed with mitigating waste since a teenager. Back then I was considered rather eccentric, but now I find myself more and more mainstream. It’s refreshing to find myself becoming mainstream. Being regarded as eccentric is lonely. I didn’t think that I was eccentric. I thought I was right to be concerned about conspicuous consumption, over exposure to toxins over a life time, waste, and neglect of the environment, and now a whole lot of other people are thinking the same way. I wish we could get hoards more people to see and embrace the changes necessary to live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

  2. Amen, Mikel! I’m still considered as an eccentric since 1) I don’t watch TV (I’ve had a person tell me just the other day that she feels sorry for me.), 2) I use reusable cloth pads instead of disposable feminine hygiene products, 3) I throw away trash once every 6 weeks, and 4) I go to stores once a month. Hopefully, more of us would become mainstream!

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