Green, frugal, sustainable, simple, healthy, happy... No matter what we each call it, we come together here to support and learn from each other.

We are preserving our planet with our lifestyles. We are creating sustainable communities for our children. We are living the lives we want to live. Please join us!


All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

Join Us Here, Too

Buy Sustainably

Join us in saving our family budgets and helping our local communities thrive.

10,000 Steps

With numerous environmental, physical and emotional benefits, what are you waiting for? Let's start walking!

Green Your Insides

For your family and our planet, start greening your own home.

Great Reading

The Four Challenge Check In!

Well it has been a long time since we’ve checked in on some of the challenges here!  I would love everyone’s feedback on these challenges:  are they helping you?  Are you following them?  Are you sticking to them?  Should I keep running them?  And how are they working for you?


10,000 Steps Challenge

The Buy Sustainably Challenge!I'm Green Inside

Just A Refresher


The Buy Nothing (New) For the Holidays Challenge – Challenges each of us to give gifts that have a low- to no-impact on the earth by giving handmade, home grown, antique/thrift store finds, or charity gifts for the holidays.


The 10,000 Steps Challenge – Challenges each of us to work up to 10,000 steps per day, in order to get a good amount of exercise in our lives, and to possibly eliminate some of the short-distance driving we do.


The Buy Sustainably Challenge – Challenges us to really think about impact before making a choice to buy something, instead of doing it impulsively:  do you really need it?  If you do, try to buy it locally, fair trade, green, and high quality enough that it will last.


The Green Your Insides Challenge – Challenges us to use healthy products in our homes and on our selves.  While there are so many products out there that are bad for us and bad for the environment, we have a choice to change what is normal and use things that are often cheaper and definitely better for our families.


In every case our mission is to work toward these goals – we can’t all go cold turkey on this stuff, and that’s ok – but we can start and work toward them, making a bit of progress each day!  If you haven’t signed up but would like to, leave your name in the comments here, or visit the page for the challenge(s) you’re interested in.


Thoughts and Updates!


So are you participating, formally or informally?  How are you doing?  Do you enjoy these challenges?  What else would you like a challenge about?



Similar Posts:

8 comments to The Four Challenge Check In!

  • You know, I didn’t sign up this time – not because I couldn’t, I’ve just run out of energy right now! Maybe after the first of the year.

  • I don’t think I did any of these — though I practice them all, to some extent (could take more steps when I’m done crawling around under the house). I’m still paying most attention to the growing and seed saving thingie.

  • I never know if these challenges are done or not. LOL. As for me the buy sustainably challenge is the only one I signed up for. And I did (and do) buy sustaianbly. As for the other challenges – buy nothing new for the holidays- well while I cannot say I don’t buy anything new, I make a lot of my presents, and I give a few used things away. 10,000 steps- FAIL (I just am not going to take a bus to work and ride the damn thing for 2.5 hours ewach way.) But I am better about walking to the grocery store. Having a dog helps as you gotta walk the little varmint anyway.Green My insides challenge- pretty much try to do that as much as possible- exception for the pills my Dr. has me on!While I am here am I the only one posting on The Growing Challenge??? Is it over???

  • I think I’m at the maintenance stage with all of these except “buy nothing new for the holidays.” Every once and awhile something new works it’s way into my gift giving. This year I want to see if I can make things working with materials from my stash only, or used. So far doing okay. I’m thinking about what more I can do to make my life more sustainable that seems reasonable. What I can challenge myself to do more of or less of….

  • Elizabeth Kountouris

    Although I didn’t sign up for any of these challenges, I try to practice them everyday.
    I walk everywhere, gave up my car.
    I only use natural products in my home (thanks so much for the no shampoo recipe – works wonders and my very long hair is easier to comb out now)
    I buy organic and have no white flour in my home.
    Am making a blanket for my son for Christmas and a shawl for my daughter in law (bought the raw materials but from a local store). My kids know about this and are thrilled.

    I feel it is very important to keep showing these challenges and talking about them. The benefits are two fold. First, you are encouraging those of us who walk that path to keep going. Second, you are capturing the interest of those people who are new to the site and will think about them.
    Even if people don’t sign up, they may start taking baby steps toward a more eco friendly lifestyle.

  • katecontinued

    These things are mostly maintenance now, with the 10,000 steps still being a very real challenge. I only do 5,000 steps and it has been very spotty this fall. I agree with the comment that it is good to encourage people new to this redefinition of normal and to reanimate we veterans who may drift.

  • I do try to buy locally! It’s not hard lately. Um, but I shop at Whole Foods fairly often, but try to get to the local grocery store more often. And buy things that aren’t ridiculously expensive and maybe even from the same state.

    Greening my insides — ummm… I guess I haven’t really thought about it lately. If I’m buying organic and stuff. I’m cleaning mostly greenly. (What an adjective!) Yeah, if I ever have a minute I’ll re-think what I’m doing.

  • Cath

    I signed up for the “Buy Nothing New For The Holidays” and almost got there! Only one present is new, and that’s a guitar effects pedal for my husband. It is local, from by a small company in Tasmania that makes everything from scratch.

    I found items for the kids – 2 presents each – on ebay. All pre-owned, but most of them never used. I asked the sellers to use recycled packaging if I couldn’t pick them up.

    For relatives/friends, I spent just shy of $20 at our local church’s second-hand stall. Came home with lots of nice plates, bowls, jars, etc – plus two oil paintings myself – that I will fill with homemade goodies plus gift vouchers for the second-hand bookshop down the road.

    The challenge was great as it made gift-giving much more thoughtful than it usually is, and much more creative too! Thanks!

    Sydney, Australia

Leave a Reply to Stephanie




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>