We have been requested to share sustainable tips. Because every single aspect of life is re-imagined at the Garden of Eden to be more beneficial to all life and our living planet, we have countless tips to share, but it all comes down to the bottom line:
We just use WAY LESS.
Ultimately, the most sustainable practice is to simplify.
We use less gas to fuel our cars because we are not running all over town every day. We use baking soda to wash our hair and many things needing washing, vinegar to wash the windows and floors, newspaper or phone book paper to wipe up just about any mess, the fresh air to dry our clothes, the sun to dehydrate our food and heat our water; the list goes on and on!
We wash our clothes, bodies, dishes, etc., using the minimum amount of soap and water needed to get clean. We wash only when we actually need it, rather than habitually washing "just because". One way we do this is to keep sets of clothes for getting dirty and sets of clothes for keeping clean. We wear our clean clothes only inside the house, thus reducing the amount of house cleaning and laundry that is necessary.
Many, many little adjustments like this add up to create a big difference in the amount of resources we use as a community. This not only saves money and environmental damage, but it also saves us the energy of having to do all that extra washing.
We also use alternative solutions that utilize free and/or renewable resources to do everyday things:
In summers, we take beautiful and refreshing outdoor showers that uses water supplied from our well.
Rather than using an electric or gas burning stove, we cook using forsaken wood that would otherwise be in the trash.
In warm weather, we use our outdoor kitchen with the cob rocket stoves and cob oven.
In cold weather, we cook on the indoor wood burning stove; we also heat all water for showers at the same time. This makes it an extra-efficient use of the wood, and it is a great alternative to gas or electricity.
We purchase just about NOTHING from stores. No purchase means no financial support for their unsustainable ways. If there is something we just absolutely can't get around having for some technology or construction project, we will trade for it or receive donations.
We make one with the elements. We do not rely on conventional heating or air conditioning to regulate our environments. If it is chilly, we wear more clothes. If it is sweltering, we wear much less, and douse our hot bodies in the outdoor 55 degree well shower to cool off.
We are conservative and purposeful about our travel. If we do go out in an automobile, it is for a reason that serves our greater purpose of living and sharing sustainability. We go out with the intention of making the world a more sustainable and life-supporting place such as facilitating a festival, conference, or catering an event with WAY more sustainable food than what is available anywhere else. When we choose to make a trip to a festival or a market, we are doing so with the purpose of spreading awareness, sharing perspective, and changing people's lives for the better. And even then, we do so in the most efficient and sustainable way we know how. We don't go out cruising to clear our heads or just to get away or put the children asleep.
We consolidate tasks on our trips out, and we get as many things done in one trip as possible, choosing locations that are as close as possible to achieve our purpose.
We always pick up something that enriches the GOE vortex when out. If running to the bank or the post office, the driver also stops by somewhere to pick up some cardboard or sawdust that would have otherwise been trash. Those are then used in our garden and composting toilets, respectively, and then become compost/soil. No one ever comes back empty handed!
We salvage a vast amount of resources from the trash- literally TONS! Every year, the GOE saves hundreds of thousands of pounds of forsaken matter that would otherwise pile up in a toxic land fill. We do this either by getting it before it is thrown away or even sometimes right after. A quick peek behind the dumpster gate or into the pile of stuff on the curb has proven a worthwhile gander many a time for the Eden Knights. Landscaping companies dump whole truck loads of wood chips, leaves, or other organic matter on our property for free rather than paying to dump it at a landfill, and we use the resources for our garden. We even have people who save their trash and bring it to us instead of throwing it away.
We compost everything organic: paper, cardboard, food, pee, and poo. It all becomes soil and then enriches our land, which enriches our food, which enriches our bodies, which we use to further the cause of living and sharing sustainability.