Simple, Sustainable Living - 5 Easy Steps

DIY-Maven had a great post on dinky dwellings a couple days ago.  I thought it was pretty cool, so I emailed simple-living guru, Gregory Johnson, and asked him to join!  He's now one of the most proflic people on Curbly.  Go check him out!

Simple, Sustainable Living - 5 Easy Steps
I decided ask him how we can apply some of his techniques to our own lives, even if we're not ready to downsize to a tumbleweed (his house is 140 square feet!). 



Gregory, most people on Curbly probably aren't ready to live in a microhome. But, I bet we could all benefit from simplifying how we live.  How about 5 steps we can take right now to begin a simple and sustainable lifestyle?

So, you're not going to move into a 200 square foot efficiency apartment or tiny home by next month. Here's what you can do:

Turn off the TV. The advertising and the programming on television is predominantly a programming tool to consumerize the masses and place them in a state of constant want for food and products. The more you watch, the more you want to eat and buy even to the detriment of your health, living space, and finances. Disconnecting from television allows a person to reconnect with real life - those three dimensional things that are on this side of the glass screen.

Storage. Try to live with simplicity for a while as a short-term experiment. Dedicate a single room in your home where everything will go. If you don't have such a room, rent one. It's hard to part with sentimental things. With storage you don't have to say goodbye just yet. By clearing out your living and working space, you'll become more efficient and clearer headed. It will also give you a blank slate to observe and correct the behavior that brings about more clutter into your life. Then let the short-term experiment become a long-term experiment.

Digital Camera. Take pictures of the things that have sentimental value to you. Then you'll always "have" them, but in a simpler form! Create a monthly scrapbook journal that includes photos, video, and perhaps an accompanying sound track.

Scanner. Scanners or multi-function printers are inexpensive these days. Once a week, take some time to scan your receipts, invoices, documents, or anything else that comes in the mail. Precious photos of friends and family can be digitized and shared. After your information is backed up and stored in a safe place, shred it.

Bicycle. You'd be amazed how trading in your car for a bicycle can change your life. You'll be healthier. You'll save time. You'll save money. You'll stop polluting. You'll contribute to a quieter and safer world. Best of all, you won't be tempted to bring anything home that can't fit on a bicycle! You'll begin living as if life were a long bicycle journey. There's something about having a relationship with a bicycle that changes one's perspective on life.

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coffeequeen on Dec 13, 2006:

Heeee, I forgot to add that we all live in a 900 sq. ft home, and since 3 are well over 6' and wear size 15 shoes, that actually eats into the living space a good deal :). Itty bitty house in the Land of the Giants! But we love it, just have to learn to love less stuff!

coffeequeen on Dec 13, 2006:

Fabulous hints! As a mom of 3, and 2 of those are teens, I think my family would go into a collective convulsion if I attempted all 5 hints at once, but baby steps, right? Baby steps.

kickpleat on Nov 21, 2006:

nice post. i live in a 400 sq. ft. apartment with my husband and love it. unfortunately, we're not so good on the decluttering, but we've managed to keep and display most of our collectables without too much trouble. small living is the only way to live, in my opinion. 

gregoryjohnson on Nov 18, 2006:

You can read more about my home, The Mobile Hermitage, here.

gregoryjohnson on Nov 18, 2006:

For those of you who previously visited the cat website and found a few links not working, those have been fixed. Thanks for letting me know. Click here to view the updated cat website..

gregoryjohnson on Nov 17, 2006:

Thanks DIYM! How sweet. You'll probably also appreciate the fact that I maintain a website for a Main Coon Cat. Found here.

DIY Maven on Nov 17, 2006:

Greg, after reading Ben's post, I like you even more!

bruno on Nov 17, 2006:

Like Greg's advice? Digg this post!

gregoryjohnson on Nov 17, 2006:

Thanks for the post, Ben. I'm enjoying Curbly and discovering some great ways to love where I live even more than before. Curbly is a great way to bring together the collective creative conciousness! - Gregory

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