Friday, March 25, 2011


If you are new to sustainability, you might not know what to expect. There are some concerns you can be relieved of and some adjustments you should be prepared for.

Money - A lot of people tend to think that using alternative energy and "green gadgets" in your home is expensive. And it can be. If you buy commercial products that persuade you into a purchase with their green marketing, chances are you will be spending a lot. This is where a little do-it-yourself, research and common sense come into play. Sustainability means less concentration on money and less need for it as well. Sometimes it takes a little initial investment, but truly sustainable purchases pay for themselves within a short time span.

Time - It takes a lot of work and lot of time and a lot of energy to be sustainable, right? Wrong. The more sustainable your lifestyle, the more money you will save, the less time you will need to work to earn money, the more exercise you will get during your routine day, the less time you will need to devote to the gym or home fitness. But this is not the post for me to list all the benefits of a sustainable lifestyle. The point is that, after adjusting to some changes, you may just find that you have more down time than before.

Comfort - You need to be prepared to sacrifice some luxuries in order to be more sustainable while saving money at the same time. Just remember, a hundred years ago or so, our ancestors would have called us wussies for considering heating and air, automobiles and cable television "necessities." Okay so, usually in today's world transportation is kind of necessary, but who says you can't use public transportation or drive an older, cheaper, used car?

People - It has happened on a few occasions that our lifestyle has provoked some surprised responses from some people, including family. New habits in diet can receive negative attention for some reason, not really sure why anyone would look down on someone trying to be healthier, but whatever. The clothesline has taken on a "trashy" dogma, though I'm not sure when it happened that Americans became more stuck up than the British (who frequently hang their skivvies out on the line). If you live in the conservative south, you could likely get called all sorts of names. And some concepts in sustainability, like "humanure," just seem outright weird to people. Just have your explanations ready and be the example for other people to follow to a more efficient and stable world. And remember, if people harass you about your change in lifestyle, they are not your friends. Remove them from your buddy list ASAP.

Keep an open mind and be open to change. Don't give up if it doesn't work the first, second or third time. Be prepared for some things to be a little difficult, and to learn a lot of new things too. Remember that you are on your way to better health, spending less money, having more time with family and friends...and those are reason enough to also expect greater contentment and less stress from your life. With diligence, you can do it.

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