We hope you enjoyed perusing our site. We also hope it made you more curious about the multi-layered and fascinating knowledge available about greener living. Want to know more about organic gardening? Composting? Permaculture? How to build a cob house or a rainwater cistern? Well, here are some of our favorite resources to get you started.
This is only a very small sample of available material and the best thing about learning about sustainable living is that the knowledge grows every moment, every day. We've found so much detailed and practical information simply by going down one rabbit hole after another on YouTube and seeing "regular" folks coming up with ingenious and work-able solutions with limited space and resources. So scroll, click, watch, listen, find workshops in your area. They're out there!
In the meantime, here's a few of our biggest inspirations:
Wendy Johnson. Green Gulch Garden founder. Author. American Buddhist.
"There is very little true wilderness remaining in the modern world. And yet when Thoreau says, "In wildness is the preservation of the world," he reminds me that wildness, at least, persists. It endures underneath the paved-over pathways of our cities as well as on the fringe of urban farmland. It persists in patches, sumps, and wallows, in weedy tangles everywhere on Earth. Staying in relationships to the uncultivated world is a primary principle for me as I garden domesticated land.
"Life into death into life" is the organic gardener's motto for the work happening to every compost pile built out of raw garbage and layered straw. This work is so fundamental to our gardening tradition at Green Gulch that we often joke that even though we don't proselytize about Zen we certainly do preach the gospel of hot compost."
"In the biblical book of Leviticus, one of the laws of Jewish life was not to cut the corners of the fields after the main harvest but to leave them standing so there would be food to be gleaned by the hungry, the lonely, and the stranger. I treasure this old admonition to share the bounty of the garden harvest with all beings; it reminds me not to cut corners and to garden wholeheartedly for the benefit of both the visible and the invisible hungry world."
Jules Devraes. The Urban Homestead founder. Path to Freedom.
Lives with his family in a regular suburban house outside of LA, where they grow and harvest not only almost all their own food from a regular suburban yard, but have enough high quality artisan produce to earn $24,000/yr selling from their front porch. The family also keeps chickens and dairy goats, and runs their home completely on solar energy and elbow grease.
"We believe… that nothing less than a revolution is required for humanity to achieve its full potential....that the future will be one of tremendous struggle because the world has been held captive—captive to giant food conglomerates, captive to insatiable consumerism, captive to earth-killing energy sources and to the glut and wastefulness of a society that is increasingly alienated from the natural world...that the time has come to move beyond fragmented and narrow solutions, band-aids for a bleeding world. We need holistic solutions that ask more of us than to “reduce, reuse and recycle.” We need something more than quick-fixes that postpone consequences but don’t change anything permanently, especially ourselves, the source of the problems...that as the world faces ever-increasing dangers because of its dysfunctional systems, there is a critical need to look ahead with a new vision—a vision that sees a step backwards, to simpler living and home-based economies, as true progress. Our family’s mission is to use our hands and our minds, to employ them as weapons of mass creation in the fight to save our world."
Sun Ray Kelley. Natural builder. Artist. Dreamer.
Love this guy. You just have to listen to him.
http://youtu.be/fjzI2JDvsNA (First Earth full documentary)
http://youtu.be/vnmKE2F-ZzM (caretakers of Earth/Eden)
http://youtu.be/9U0T8C6J1qY (interview/early days)
"It's this deeper calling I have, deep in my DNA...and I think it's the same for everyone, that we were put on this earth to be be caretakers, to nourish this beautiful garden... that's why humans were created, to be the caretakers of this planet. And I think we'll come to our true joy when we embrace that as a species..."
Ianto Evans. Natural builder. Cob Cottage Company founder.
Welsh craftsman, natural builder, educator, permaculturist. Began the first workshops to teach people how to build their own homes with natural, local, available, and sustainable materials. The straw bale/cob house, which Evans refined, recently passed coding standards in the U.S.
http://youtu.be/1BaXmHsnvPg (off the "treadmill")
"To be complete we need to have a constant awareness of our cosmic bearings, where and when we fit into Nature’s patterns.”
Bill Mollison. Permaculture founder. Biologist. Instigator.
Australian founder of Permaculture. The interview cited below really captures this man's vision.
http://youtu.be/uG2eHQ9Q078 (A Quiet Revolution)
http://youtu.be/JrtJbk8_GY8 (In Grave Danger of Falling Food)
http://www.networkearth.org/perma/culture.html (Lectures and lessons on all aspects of permaculture design and implementation)
"I teach self-reliance, the world's most subversive practice. I teach people how to grow their own food, which is shockingly subversive. So, yes, it’s seditious. But it’s peaceful sedition."
Wendy Tremayane. Homesteader. Re-cycler and Repurposer. Artist.
Left corporate life in NYC to build a homestead in Truth or Consequences, NM with her coder-turned-inventor partner. The couple forages in both nature and the waste stream for nearly everything they need and use. They strike a balance between living a homesteader life--making what they need themselves, growing, fermenting, and storing their own food, etc., and keeping a foot in the world of technology as digital promoters and sellers of their inventions and products. Their take on independence is more community and connection oriented and uses traditional wisdom to create an alternative present.
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/aug/12/summer-reads-best-staycation-wendy-tremayne (Review of The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments in Hands-on Living)
"The greatest reward has been reconnecting to nature. I used to think of nature’s wisdom was an abstract concept. But once I took the time to reconnect to nature by slowing down, foraging, and growing I noticed that nature’s wisdom is real and tangible. Because we are alive we are able to intuit its knowledge. This happens through our senses and by connecting to life. In living patterns, activities, and cycles we connect to the common sense. In contrast, acculturated knowledge about the commodified world, things like banking, communication, and media are not natural. We go to schools to learn civilizations knowledge. This knowledge can’t keep us alive. It is not essential. People are meant to intuit the world. And I have found being able to causes us to feel calm, safe, and happy."
John D. Liu. Film maker. Ecologist.
Became interested in ecology, specifically reforestation as a means to regenerate decimated land, while filming the successful process in the Loess Plateau in China. Now consults and works with governments and agencies to replicate the process in other countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, Jordan, and Mongolia.
http://youtu.be/YBLZmwlPa8A (Green Gold documentary)
"It's possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems. So why aren't we doing that?"
Michael Reynolds. Earthship Biotechture. Radically Sustainable Building.
Began building "radically sustainable housing" over thirty years ago in the Taos desert with recycled and repurposed materials like tires, bottles, and cans. The Earthship is an almost completely self-sustaining home that harvests and filters rainwater, uses grey water to grow food, employs thermal mass to heat and cool, solar and wind power for energy, and processes its own waste (of which there is very little). Reynolds lost his architecture license and personally battled with the New Mexico State legislature to be able to build and teach about his structures. His team travels to countries devastated by natural disaster to build simplified model Earthships. Currently, Earthships can be built to building code and the first one designed for an urban area is under construction in Philadelphia.
http://youtu.be/Jnkv_qj1xUc (The Garbage Warrior)
"If humanity takes the planet down the tubes, I’m dead. I’m trying to save my ass. And that is a powerful force."
"It’s clear to see that people are in a lot of stress themselves due to the way they live. And they’re imposing that stress on other people and the planet. If we are able to remove the stress from people in terms of how they live and what they have to give of themselves to exist and what they have to take from the planet to exist – if we’re able to eliminate a lot of that stress, the world’s going to be a better place. I think if you simply remove stress then people will be much better."
"We have the potential to enhance the planet. Trees enhance the planet. People could go further. We could make the Earth sing. If you took stress out of people’s lives and made them happy in terms of the way they live – if you made it easy for them to be at peace on this planet – they would bloom. And I think humanity could go to a whole different level."