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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!

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Who Are You Out There In The Shadows?

Butterfly On Our Old Meyer Lemon Tree


It has been a long time since I’ve taken math at school, but I do know that there are about 1,000 subscribers and another 1,500-2,000 people visiting here each day.  Which means only about 5% of you all have left a comment here….

And that is totally ok, but I would love for you to come out for a peek, and tell me a bit about you.

Would You Take a Moment to Introduce Yourself?

Simple comments are fine – just take the plunge and write a few words!

I would love to know:  Where do you live?  What do you do for a living?  And how did you come to begin living a sustainable life?

Pretty Please?

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80 comments to Who Are You Out There In The Shadows?

  • kt

    when you ask so nicely it’s hard to refuse.

    I am a canadian living in Britain. I started following green as a thistle and chrunchy chicken about three years ago when I was living in the states as a graduate music student, and sort of branched out from there. I don’t generally like writing comments: i’ll often start one and then decide that it either sounds silly, or has been said better by someone else. Hence my quiet lurking.

    I really enjoy your blog, thank you for all of the work you do.

  • We offer an organic eco-friendly getaway to those visiting the foothills of the Berkshires. Just outside of Northampton, MA. our twenty acre hillside paradise offers fabulous expansive views, with fields of native blueberries and rambling gardens. For over twenty years we have been working the land here organically and have created along side mother nature a diverse wildlife habitat that helps to sustain many birds, mammals and insects. Flower Hill Farm nourishes the soul and imagination as well as, inspiring others how to live a simpler life close to nature. I share the life of my gardens and ventures of the surrounding area on my blog. I found your blog over at blotanical and truly appreciate the work you are doing here. ;>) Carol

  • Since you asked so nicely…!

    I’m Jenni, living in a city in the middle of England, and I found your blog ages ago via a post on washing your hair without shampoo…

    For a living? Well, for money I work as a PA to a disabled woman, and take notes for deaf students at the university. I’m also finishing my phd, which is about how transport choices are linked to identity. And I’m also involved in various other voluntary projects, like Transition Towns, LETS, and some other stuff.

    How did I come to be living a simple life? By default really, my instinct is not to buy too much ‘stuff’, to grow things, sew things, and generally make do. The last couple of years I’ve been consciously finding out about things like making soap, and making more of an effort in the garden. I’ve also hand made all of the presents I’ve given in the last year, which has been excellent fun!

    That’s all really, and thanks for tempting us out of the shadows, must be really intriguing to have all of those readers and no idea who we are…


  • I live in Barrie, Ontario, Canada on a small farm. We live simply and frugally because it is the only way for us, being “drop-outs” from society and we believe it is the best way.

    I like your blog very much! I write a country “do-it-yourself” blog and have found your’s to be very helpful.

  • Amy

    Wow small world, we just moved from Barrie, ON.
    I have left one comment as per my ‘list’ I’m trying to become more involved with the community (both online and otherwise) this year.
    I am at the crossroads of making a huge career change and have recently moved to the salty Canadian East coast.
    Found your blog through your deodorant post, I’m all about ‘granola glam’ and find you have A LOT to offer, so thanks.

  • I am a graphic designer living in Swanton, OH (by Toledo). I am slowly trying to live a more sustainable live just because it feels right. I was raised pretty much that way (though I’ve been told it was more of a financial thing than an environmental thing) and since living on my own, I’ve come to realize it just makes sense.

  • I live outside Atlanta, GA – unfortunately far enough outside and on the “wrong” side for easy access to Farmer’s markets and CSAs. Somehow I can’t make myself drive 30+ miles weekly to pick up a CSA. I stay at home with my kids, even though they are getting older, but it allows me to cook, sew and garden and be there for them. I got into sustainable type living from the frugality standpoint. I’m still have a long way to go, but we’re expanding the garden as we head into our 2nd year of gardening.

    • Christina

      Owlfan, you should give you name and contact information to the CSA – it’s possible that there are others in your area who would love to join but are similarly disinclined to make the drive so frequently. Or perhaps the CSA itself is waiting for a critical mass of shareholders to make a weekly truck drops in a different part of the Atlanta metro; many CSAs are happy to do truck drops, at someone’s house or in a library parking lot or the similar. My CSA isn’t quite as far away as yours, but I ride-share with another family, taking turns bringing both our shares over the hills. That way I can get the huge reduction in food miles without having to take such a large chunk of my schedule to do it!

    • Deanna

      I am also outside Atlanta, “on the wrong side.” I am able to buy from locally from a website: Then you input your town and the nearest one pops up.

  • Hi,
    I commented to join the Growing Challenge, but didn’t really introduce myself. I live in Western Massachusetts, where I run an early childhood program from home while raising my 1-year-old daughter. I became aware of “green” issues when I was in college, and get “crazier” every year (according to popular conceptions of normal). My current focus is trying to plant more of an edible landscape in my very shady yard. We also have chickens, eat only local produce, do an insane amount of canning/drying/freezing each year, blah, blah, blah. I just got in from hanging my laundry out in the 20-something weather. Now I’ve got to go feed 6 kids. :-)

  • I live outside Nashville, TN, grew up in L.A. and it wasn’t until we bought our first house 2 years ago that we started living more sustainably in earnest, given the freedom + not having a landlord looking over our shoulder. Our biggest challenge at the moment is the trash, trying to reduce the number of times we drag the 96 gal bin to the curb. We have just surpassed 3 months…going for 4. I’d like to one day make it 12 months.

  • I live in a Montreal suburb in Quebec. I came across this website which bowled me over. Ever since I’ve been doing what I can to increase my family’s resilience.

    Mostly gardening so far.

  • Lizz

    I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, I’m an AmeriCorps*VISTA working at a college. My job is to get students involved and passionate about the community.

    How did I get into “greening”? Well, my parents were complete hippies in the 70s and taught me a lot. I grew up with homegrown veggies and fruit, some homemade clothes, and cloth diapers (to name a few). Then, frugality in college led me to a farmer’s market and more green practices. It’s just grown since then.

  • tammy

    Hi, I think KT has answered for me as to why I just lurk around. I am an American living in Germany. I am just a stay at home mom to a 3 year old boy. Also a wife to a very supportive husband. We had a big “Earth Day Incident” in our home last year where I got rid of anything with a hint of MSG in it, then that lead to chemicals, which lead to everything else. I am in the learning/unlearning process (something I imagine will be a lifetime process–a more healthy one I hope) of a life more simple/green/healthy etc. which lead me to your site. My husband and I are thinking about taking the plunge into homesteading when we return home, where we envision being completely self-reliant (I even started knitting classes last month). I read your entry about moving back to a city after trying to do the same thing. I was having some concerns about taking the big leap “off the grid” so to speak, when I read your comments on the subject. It was as if there was some blogging spirit guiding me to your page, because your insights were exactly my concerns. Thank you for you honest and intelligent comments and for putting it out there for all of us to read and learn. I think I have rambled on long enough and now my self-consciousness has just surfaced and I must go back to lurking about.

  • Kasi S.

    My name is Kasi and I live in Bloomington, IN. I grew up Quaker and went to Earlham College, a small, liberal, “hippie” school. I was raised with a concern for the environment and raised to be frugal. Since college, especially, I have made strides towards healthier living and a more sustainable lifestyle, which I feel are inseparable.

    I currently do administrative work at Indiana University, a desk job which is far from my dream job, but I’ll get there eventually. I dream of gardening and hand-crafting for a living instead.

    I’m not a big commenter, I prefer just to read and let the ideas percolate. Thanks for giving us more to think about!

  • I’m guilty of reading and not commenting. I love reading your posts though! My name is Jessica and I’m married with two kids, ages 3 and 1. We live in Morgantown, WV in a house with a small city lot within walking distance of work. I’m an academic librarian and my husband is a graduate student. After having pre-eclampsia with my daughter, I started reading labels on packaging like crazy to reduce my sodium levels post-partum. I also read the Omnivore’s Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Those two books really influenced my decision to try to live more sustainably. After I read those, I started looking for more information online. This is one of the first blogs I really came across, so you had a huge influence on me! We still have a long way to go, but we are taking baby steps. We’ve belonged to a CSA for the past two years and are going to have a full share for the first time this year. We’re also ordering some grass fed meat, which is another step in the right direction. I’m also plotting ways to find the time to completely replace what little lawn we have with vegetables, fruits, herbs, and other medicinal plants.

  • Hello. :-) I’ve only been around a very short time, having found you in my recent search for info on no ‘poo. I currently live in Missoula, MT, but have only been here a month. I lived in the LA metro for nine years prior. I was raised by hippie types on a farm in Eastern Washington, so living sustainably from the land is deep in my veins. It was hard to live in LA for so long… I felt like I wasn’t being true to who I really am… to what I know. Funny how greater knowledge brings greater responsibility. So I moved out of the city (but stayed in a good-sized town) in the first step of my quest to harmonize my knowledge and my lifestyle. I’m currently unemployed and looking for work. I do office/admin stuff to earn a living but I’m creatively considering how I can change this. Being in LA and working for a giant, nationwide restaurant company was hard on my soul. So I’m being picky in my job search… as long as I am financially able to, that is.

  • I’ve commented 1-2x before, but am an Oregonian transplant currently adjusting to rural Louisiana (via marriage to an Army man). I was raised moving around a lot, but spent 4 formative years in eco-conscience Eugene, OR. We were raised to recycle, think about health, help others, and taught how to budget. All that being said, the movie Blood Diamond completely impacted my life and led to a year of simplifying & consciousness about how my daily decisions impacted life on the planet. I read a ton on simplicity and eco-living…and started reading/writing in the blog community. Being a grad student and then struggling to find a job here made it fairly easy to live frugally and consciously during the last 4 years. I just started work as a transition counselor (helping members transitioning out of the service w/ job seeking skills, etc) and my husband and I are continuing to form our first home together.

  • Hi,

    I am a Bermudian who lives in Bermuda. I teach a 4 lesson 3hour/week Grow Biointensive gardening course during the growing season to the general public and am involved with the Transition movement here. I grow fruits and vegetables for my personal use and am entertaining the idea of keeping chickens again. During late 1960′s and early 70′s I was a subsistence homestead farmer in the Kootenay Mountains where I learned a lot about how to live from the land from Russian Doukabours.

  • Another KT

    I am a geologist living and working in Massachusetts. I’ve been frugal for a long time, being raised by some frugal parents. And I’ve been interested in the environment ever since I enjoyed going outside as a kid and then more while studying geology in college.

  • Stephanie


    I am a social worker who lives in Duluth, Minnesota. I have been slowly working on having a more sustainable life, joining a CSA, developing a “green group”, making homemade products, etc. I love all the inspiration I get from you on your blog.

  • We’re neighbors! We live in Everett, WA and rent .25 acre 3.5 miles away Ebey Island where we grow vegetables for ourselves and to give away. We’ve also bought a small farm in Snohomish, WA where we will move our garden next year. I grew up on a farm in Indiana and have never gotten it out of my system. We’re pretty much self sufficient in vegetables and gleaned fruit, canning and freezing. Our goal is to teach others how to do this.

  • I read your blog ALL the time, but I haven’t commented in awhile, so I figured I’d re-introduce myself. I live in Rochester, NY. I’m a co-founder of (which used to be Allie’s Answers) and I’m a fiction writer.

    I’d always been interested/concerned with the environment, because I’m an outdoorsy person, but I started writing an environmental column for a website dedicated to celebrity causes a few years ago, and got really involved in learning more and sharing what I’d learned. The website didn’t last, but my interest did and I went out on my own.

  • Hi. I’m an American living in the United Arab Emirates. I was raised on a subsistence farm by parents who were back-to-the-landers in the 70′s (in Northern MN, no less!) I married a wonderful and creative man who just happens to be an astronomy guy-which is why we’re in the UAE. I am a homemaker and full-time mom to two little boys (I was a biology teacher before having children). We are scrimping and saving while abroad so we can move back home, wherever that may be, and buy our five acres and freedom. My project for the coming year is to read, read, read as much as I can about homesteading–raising chickens, bees, organic gardening, self sufficiency etc. so we can hit the ground running when we return. Your blog is certainly a huge help as we re-educate ourselves on living more responsibly on this earth. Thank you.

  • Hi, I am a recently retired federal policy wonk. I’ve commented on several of your recent blogs. I found you through the Co-op because I follow another writer on there and began checking out the other writers on frugal and sustainable living. I can’t say exactly when I began to try to live more sustainably. I guess it was a process and mainly I was inspired by programs on television and news reports of pollution, especially what is happening to our water systems. In my own life, I’ve always reused and recycled but haven’t paid a lot of attention to the whole ecosystem until I got older. Now I’m trying to do my part and live in a “greener” way though I have a lot farther to go. I feel like you do (from a post I read before) that every person making small change is the way that big change will be accomplished for the betterment of the planet. I am a Canadian living on Canada’s west coast so I guess we are sort of neighbour’s.

  • Yay Dean Smith! Lurkers have great stories!

    I think I’ve posted before, but I’m Tiffany – live in Seattle – attending BGI and hoping to find a new job in Sustainability/Social Media. Hoping our paths will cross some day, Melinda!

  • ALM

    Funny to read in your post the actual number of us “lurkers” here! This is a great blog and keeps me motivated. Please keep up the good work. I’m a hydrogeologist in Raleigh, NC, who daily deals with the results of so many of us living unsustainably. It has forced me to take a hard look at my lifestyle, and you offer me practical ways to improve my choices and motivate me to keep spreading the word.

  • Wow, it’s so great to meet you all and read your stories! This is so much fun!

  • Jess

    Also from South Western Ontario, Canada. Always been interested in environmental / natural medicine / simple living. Was frightened silly by Kunstler’s “The Long Emergency” about five years ago adn started baking bread, making jam, canning, gardening, knitting, livingwithless in ernest. I’m an active stay at home trying to quietly spread the revolution by volunteering in school and the community. Member of Transition London (Ontario). Thank you for your blog.

  • Diana K.

    Hello! I live about 20 miles East of Seattle, WA in a suburb near Lake Washington. I work as a Systems Engineer for a large international company, that has an initiative for reducing their environmental footprint and has made incredible progress! I joined the Employee Environmental Advisory Council and also the Communications subteam. It’s been a great experience and has also taught me about being more environmentally conscious in how I live and how to make my own home more Green. I’m really enjoying your website!

  • meg

    Hi! I’m Meg and I live in Seattle also (west seattle). For pay, I’m a nurse but am desperately working on getting out of that…so let’s just pretend I’m not one. =)
    My interest in sustainability stems from social/food justice, personal enjoyment of simplicity and a desire for community building.

  • I’ll play!

    We live in west central Texas. My 11yo son is unschooled, so my primary job (though it doesn’t feel like a job) is to be available to help him with his interests in any way I can. I earn a little money by working parttime for a family business. I enjoy both jobs :).

    My interest in living a more sustainable life coincided with becoming a mom. We’ve made changes along the way since then, and will continue to do so — I think there’s always room for learning more, doing more.

  • I can’t even remember how I stumbled on your website, but it’s linked on my blog now so I can “check in” regularly!

    I’m in Holland, MI, and I’m a registered nurse (neonatal is my specialty). My husband and I believe that this planet is God’s creation, and an awesome work of art at that. As careful stewards of what we have, part of our responsibility is to be careful stewards of this planet as well!!! So we’re always trying to see what else we can do to be as responsible as possible. Even little changes, like making my own laundry soap, only buying biodegradable personal care products, not using cleaning products, joining a CSA, etc, can go a long way! I’ve become fascinated with nutrition, eating whole foods, and making huge changes to our diet. It’s just all way too fun.

    Thanks for a great site with great info!!

  • sparklefairy

    Hi, I live in Queensland Australia and have been trying to live simply and reduce my impact on mother earth for a number of years. I have 4 children and work as a nurse in Sexual Health and HIV services.
    We grow vegies, have planted some fruit trees and vines, recycle, reuse, I cook a lot from home, joined community gardens.
    Have loved this blog. Learning more about vinager, bicarb, no poo hairwashing and deoderants. Hubby has lots of skin allergies so this has been awesome to follow.
    I share loads from this blog on facebook so thank you :)
    Back to lurking in the shadows.

  • Hi Melinda,
    Nice to meet you!
    I just started following your blog and am really enjoying it. I’m always looking for like minded people to connect with. I’ll link to your stuff on my @talktojenny page on twitter! I am an ex-media person and just started a marketing communcations company aimed at promoting green, organic, holistic companies and associations. I live in Toronto but I have managed to create an outdoorsy life in the big city by living next to one of the two rivers that run through town. At heart I am a communicator but gardening is my true passion!

  • Hi!

    I’m Beth and I write the blog where I try to help families and individuals become a little more environmentally and socially aware. I’ve only recently found your site and have been enjoying it.

    I live in the U.S. in central Virginia. I’m a thirty-something mother of 4 year old twin girls and we’re getting ready to start on year two of our own organic garden.

    Thanks for asking!

  • kathy

    my name is kathy. i am 38 and i live with my 3 children (3,4,8yo) south of sydney, australia. i have for some years been involved in the local transition initiative and the climate action group. i am just getting a group together to launch LETS in the region.
    i had been married to a wealthy man for about 10 years. we separated about 9 months ago, so now i am trying to follow a sustainable path with a lot less money. so, fewer organic chickens hit the table these days.
    one of my main drives to live sustainably and ethically (particularly where food is concerned) is that my children will be adults in a world that is very likely to be less abundant. in many ways not a bad thing, but it’s something that they will need to be prepared for – and why not treat the planet with some respect?

  • Hi,
    My name is Taryn and I live in Melbourne, Australia. My Dh and I run our own business developing solar energy products for industrial and solar farm applications. I’m a mum to a 3 year old boy and having him really started us on living a sustainable life – starting with cloth nappies and moving on from there – my latest obsession is removing all plastic from the house. We grow our own vegies, have put in fruit trees, reduce / reuse / recycle, try to eat as organically as possible (

    We live on the outskirts of Melbourne in green, leafy local community that is supportive of being green and living a sustainable life. We hope to move a little further out and get more land.

    I want the planet to be a better place for my DS, also I want him to have the knowledge and the skills to make it better.

    I found your blog while researching No Poo :-)

  • I have left a comment here before. You probably know me . . .

    I live sustainably because I don’t trust those in power as an entrepreneur to keep my best interests in mind. I live sustainably to provide for myself and my family, because I don’t subscribe to some green “redistribution of wealth” scheme that takes from those that actually produce wealth in our economy.

    There are those that are willing to work hard to provide for themselves and pull themselves up by their bootstraps to sustain their family, and there are those that have class envy and only want to steal it from others through taxation and a welfare state. You can either have work and family values or Robin Hood values that punish hard work. That’s why I live sustainably.

  • Rob

    LOL on delurking! I nominated you for a Kreative Blogger award for using sensitivity on yesterdays post

    Burien, Washington

  • Kate M-C

    Hello! I’m Kate from Binghamton, NY. I am an early childhood educator, working with three year olds. I began to attempt to live a sustainable life when I was in 5th grade at summer camp when I first found the book “50 simple things kids can do to save the earth” – it had just come out (20 years ago). I tried to turn my parents on to recycling and my “green” stance kept evolving from there. :)

    Thank you for this awesome blog. I have only been reading for a few weeks but have already found so much help and so much “love” — my favorite thing is how you talk about redefining what normal is. Thank you thank you thank you. :)

  • I’m in Texas…a stay-at-home mom with two school age children. I really don’t know how I came to be interested in sustainable living. It’s been so many years ago that I started making changes that I don’t remember the specific impetus.

    Great blog. I continue to learn much.

  • Hello! I’m a gluten free baker from New Jersey! I love checking in on your blog- it inspires me! I’m a fan of the baking soda no-poo, natural cleaners and minimizing senseless consumerism! Mostly tho, I’m in it for the food! I quit my government job and enrolled in a health supportive culinary school. I’m loving my new life sharing and healing with wonderful food!
    I really appreciate your story about how you moved out to the country to ‘simplfy’, but found that city life was much more sustainable and fulfilling. It’s a great reminder that it’s not about doing everything yourself- and the power of community!
    Thanks for all that you do.

  • I live in Half Moon Bay, CA……. have a landscaping company and farm on the coast. Sustainable living comes easy when you live in such an abundantly green area.
    Thanks for all the sustainability tips!

  • Deanna

    I am also outside of Atlanta, “on the wrong side.” You can go too and input your city and find the nearwest one around you!

  • Thanks for the wonderful blog that you write, it is in my top 3 to inspire and inform me as we try and live a more sustainable life in Perth, Western Australia. We have a very basic gardening blog, and a more extensive Fair Trade blog which can be found at All part of a steady shift over the past five years as we move towards minimising our impact and improving our local and global environment. It is only a drop in the ocean of course, but the ripples appear to be spreading, just like the information on your blog. Thanks again for all your hard work, it makes making a difference so much easier.

  • TheMom

    Of course! I moved to the suburbs of Atlanta GA about 10 years ago. I met my now husband and have been here ever since! I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Upstate NY. The whole nine yards, milking before and after school, canning every year. The whole sha-bang! When I moved here I have to admit I was ignorant. I just asumed that the cow I … See Morebought at the store was from a farm a few miles away. 2&1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyagia, I belive it a build up of the “crap” that has compiled inside my body over the last 10 years. I am slowly, but surely, changing my life and family. I am lucky enough to have found a neighbor, nay now a good friend, that shares the same ideals!!! We are inspiring some around us. Her quote from Gaundi has kind have been our montra…Live the Change you want see. I am not sure that I have the wording right. Now, my daughters teachers at school are starting to notice what I am packing for my kids lunches. Just today she offered to make me some flour from the wheat she grows with her mill!!!!! Yeah!!
    I will try and be more diligent about commenting from now on. I always start and delete it thinking that it sounds funny or someone else can sayb it better. Or in my case- half the words are spelled wrong. But I LOVE your blog and love reading it!!!!

  • Zannie

    What were the questions again? Oh yeah, where do I live, what do I do and how did I become this way. Well… in no certain order (ok, in order in which you asked):

    1. I live in the Washington DC Metropolitan area.
    2. I work for the Fire Department.
    3. I haven’t landed yet – I’m still working on it.


  • Hi I live in Edinburgh Scotland and work as an information officer for a small charity. I also do voluntary work for a small conservation charity. My parents were always frugal when we were growing up so that’s where it started, I also have been a keen birdwatcher since a very early age.

  • Visual artist living on the central coast in Oregon…started seriously living green when my husband was first diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities over 20 years ago but we just started transforming our yard into a garden with edible fruits and vegs a few years ago…still a long way to go, but the fun is in the journey!

  • Wow! What a response!

    a/s/l = 21/f/California+Minnesota, USA

    And Melinda, I can’t e-mail subscribe to comments anymore for some reason. I never know if you’ve responded or if I’ve missed something with it gone. Is this on purpose?

    • Hi Stephanie, the link to subscribe to comments has just moved to the top of the comments instead of the bottom (the old subscribe to comments system didn’t work with the new WordPress version).

      You should see “By Melinda, on February 5th, 2010 | Category: About Us, Questions & Answers | Subscribe to Comments |” above the comments. Let me know if for some reason it doesn’t work!

  • I am so pleased to meet all of you!! Thank you so much for coming out of your shells – please feel free to do so anytime. :) It’s really lovely to hear your voices.

    Those of you visiting over the weekend, please continue to introduce yourselves – I’m reading and enjoying every voice!

  • I’ve only been lurking for a few weeks! I’ve been reading Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op for about six months, I found that because I’ve been reading Kate’s blog, Living the Frugal Life for about a year. In January, I decided to get more serious/scientific around my frugal/green efforts, so I checked out the blogs of all of Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op’s writers. I like your gardening badge, but I can’t figure out how to make it work on my blog :)

    To answer your questions:

    Where do you live?

    In Surrey, BC, which is just south of Vancouver and 5 minutes from the US border.

    What do you do for a living?

    I used to work in a garden center, I quit almost 2 years ago to study full time. I’ll be finished my BSW in April of next year. I plan to specialize in child welfare and work for the government agency responsible for protection.

    And how did you come to begin living a sustainable life?

    I’ve always had a veggie garden, but I think my true journey toward sustainability began about a year and a half ago. Now I’m working towards a local diet.

  • Alison from Pittsburgh

    As others have said on here, I discovered your blog through the Co-op site and really enjoy reading the individual blogs – so much great information! Currently, I am a registered nurse working on a cardiology floor in a hospital which I love. I think the journey toward sustainability for me is rooted in several different areas. I do it to save money, to live more simply, to gain freedom, to be healthier, to protect the planet, to live more delibrately. I spent some time in Europe and learned that there is a different way to live than how I grew up in the US and was probably where it started for me in earnest. Thanks to you and everyone who contributes here for all excellent ideas and inspiration!

  • Kelly

    Hi! I’m Kelly, and I’m an Americorps VISTA working at an affordable housing agency in Lewisburg, WV. I got hooked on sustainability through classes I took during college, and am trying to continue down that path. Thanks for a great blog!

  • Hi Melinda,
    I’m 61 and retired from the “normal” workforce.I currently Live in the capital of Australia, Canberra, Where I am transforming my elderly parents garden into a produtive food producing area with fruit trees’ herbs and veggies. I am involved in the community gardening network and kitchen gardeners international and permablitzact. I am always talking to people about the quality of commercial food and conventional agriculture and how it is affecting our health.I also ride my bike everywhere. Just do basic stuff to make the change I want to see happen.

  • Hi Melinda,
    I’m 61 and retired from the ‘normal’ workforce. I’m fortunate enough to live in beautiful Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. I am currently transforming my elderly parents garden, who I care for, into a food production area with fruit trees, berries, herbs and veggies and gradually illiminating lawn and putting in water conservation strategies. I am involved in the community garden network, Kitchen gardeners international and permablitz act (see website). I ride my bicycle everywhere I can and talk to people about the quality of food and how our conventionally food is not doing our heath and our nations soils any good.Generally doing what I would like to see happen.Sustainability rules! Tim

  • Hi everybody. Ken here out on the Canadian West Coast; just a 10 minute cycle down to White Rock beach; a 40 minute return trip.

    Retired 11 years
    PC owner for 25 years and still clumsy.
    Website: 10 years: 32 KEYS About Life

    Blogging for social change 2 years

    I pop in here and at other world friendly blogs starting at about 5:30am. BTW I have include One Green Generation in my read list Melinda. Very nice effort.

  • becky

    i sometimes comment here. i really enjoyed reading all the comments above and meeting a world community of followers on this path. melinda, thank you again for such a wonderful website.
    i live in west palm beach florida. i’m a former teacher. i drive a delivery route for my local csa one day a week and volunteer at the library another. since college i’ve always had environmental leanings but following a trip to europe in 2006 and the movie inconvenient truth, i took on a major recommitment. i too love your phrase melinda “redefining normal” and i think of it many times a day. your website has been so valuable for learning and inspiration.

  • I am a Children’s Librarian living in the frozen northern plains, USA. I enjoy reading your blog and have begun my own.

  • You all have given me smiles all weekend long, reading your comments as they come in. Thank you for sharing a bit of you.

    I’ve also really enjoyed learning what blog posts have hit home for you all.

    Please continue, latecomers! And I hope this brings a few of you out from shyness a little more often – I would love to hear your voices!!

  • Hi there. I live in Lookout, WV where with my lovely wife and 15 month old son. We run a family farm and bed & breakfast , where we host family reunions and church retreats.I found your blog through the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op and have joined the Growing Challenge. We raise chickens, rabbits, goats, cows, pigs and turkeys here and have a large garden. We have started an orchard and berry bushes and I am planning to build a greenhouse this spring. Our goal is to grow/raise all of the food that our family eats. We also use fresh items from our farm when catering to the large groups who stay with us. Thanks for your blog, Melinda. I enjoy reading it and will post an update soon for the Growing Challenge.

  • Ellie

    Actually my sister Jess somewhere on this page introduced me to your website, and since the introduction I have hidden in the shaddows. While big sis is far better than I for becoming much greener, and I am learning a lot from her, I am making so and steady changes myself to myself… While she is in Canada now, i am still living somewhat indecisively somewhere in the UK but I am sure I will grow up and make a real decision soon. Although it is my dream to live semi self-sustainably somewhere preferably warmer than here. I hope to keep following your website and learn more.

    Actaully I have no reason why not to be greener so I have to do something now!! that shower filter for starters!

  • I live in the Dallas, Texas area. I work at a hospital, on the business side of things. I began the green life early cuz I don’t remember it ever being a decision. I am a child of the 1960′s and I remember when DDT was outed for the destructive thing that it was. I don’t think I ever thought about not being organic, and as green as possible. It’s just grown and grown in me.

    Thanks for your great blog!

  • Lindsay

    Hi, I’m Lindsay. I’m a Canadian living in Redmond, WA. I am interested in gardening, using fewer chemicals in our home, eating healthy organic food and moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle, though we definitely have a lot of room to grow. I’ve been following your blog for a couple months and also follow Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op.

  • Janene

    I’m a SAHM near Cincinnati, OH. I’m interested in simple living and making lifestyle changes that can impact our health and our environment.
    Can’t do everything, but trying to do some!

  • Liz

    I am a sahm in Cornwall, UK. I have four children aged 1-7. I spend too much time reading blogs & not enough time actually putting into practice the things I learn by reading blogs!

  • I started reading your blog recently, found it by following gardening related links. I recently moved to Modesto, CA and I’m starting my first garden. We’re on a tight budget, which encourages my natural inclination to be as self-sufficent and thrifty as we can. (Right now I’m building a fence out of twine and tree-prunings to keep our dogs out of the vegetable garden side of the yard.) Thanks for the wonderful information on your site.

  • Hi Dana, and everyone. I’m so glad you’re continuing to introduce yourselves. I’m still reading! Pleased to meet you all.

  • Dani

    Hi there! My husband and I live in beautiful Albuquerque, NM. I was raised by very frugal parents, we often hand-crafted gifts and were constantly reminded that wants were not the same as needs. Gardening is very difficult in the desert, when water is the biggest concern for sustainability, but rain barrels help. I pick up any odd jobs that come along which right now include nanny, PA, dog-walker, house-sitter, temp. office staffing, and plant wrangler. We are striving to live more sustainably, although that is a slow process. Hopefully I can have this more figured out before kids come along, but for now I practice with our 3 dogs and 2 cats (we can’t say no to homeless pets) as stand-in children. I keep reminding myself that little things make a difference. We started a recycling ministry at our church, my husband, a mechanic, is known at work as the hippie, and we are always trying to find uses for what our families and friends would normally throw away. Thanks so much for the encouragement, community, and ideas!

  • Teresa

    Hi there :) We live in Tennessee and last year we had a bountiful of lovely produce and this year is different, we want to produce great yields all year long and this site is wonderfully put together. I am a frugal at heart and now learning to put it all together and actually doing more. Thanks so much..keep writing…so I can keep reading :)

  • Hi. I found this blog while surfing around for garden sites. I’m a forestry technician living about 80 miles east of Seattle. I was raised in rural southwest Washington by a frugal family, and have always gardened, canned, sewn and mended, etc. The first Earth Day was a big deal when I was 10 years old, and I have always been interested in conservation, recycling, alternative energy and so on. My house is small, I am crazy about growing food and flowers, love baking bread, am thinking about getting chickens this spring. My life is not what I would consider sustainable, but I like to try. I’ve spent a lot of time living simply in the wilderness, and it’s surprising how little a person really needs.

    I enjoy the positive tone of the blog.

  • Kimberly

    I am glad to have found this blog. My family lives in Columbia, SC. I am a stay at home mom of one little girl and wife to a husband that is very supportive of my increasing measures towards a sustainable lifestyle for our family. We have been eating organic and recycling for years but after reading some books, Omnivore’s Dilemma, Corn Kings, etc. realized that just wasn’t enough. Recently, we have switched to buying only local and grass fed meats, joined a CSA, and make from scratch anything else I can. I am very passionate about eating clean and healthy and teaching my daughter to as well not only for her health but for the health of the world around her.

  • I’m living in Alberta, Canada and doing my best to be green and sustainable. I stay at home and do a small amount of contract work in marketing and communications, but mostly I try to make our family function sustainably and without a lot of sacrifice. I’ve concentrated a lot lately on food (where it comes from, what it’s gone through before getting to me, etc.) and the more you know, the more you want to buy locally and fair-trade. I know I’m not doing enough, but it’s a start. All that I do and know is passed onto my children though and I hope they’ll do a better job than I can because they will have a higher level of knowledge leading into their own lifestyle choices when that time comes.

  • Hi! My name is Tracy and I’m from Western Kentucky. You’d think living in a rural area that I’d have an abundant supply of local produce and meats. Unfortunately, not. We’ve had a farmers market, but only recently has it grown. I do buy my veggies and fruits from there when they’re in season. A local farm just opened up a store a few months ago. As of right now, there isn’t much in there, but it’s not season yet. I have always been interested in sustainability. According to my Mom, I’ve been this way my whole life. I will admit, I got out of it for a long time because of time saving and convenience. However, now that I have my son, I’ve been looking more into the things that impact my life and those around me. I have a little container garden I’m planning. I bought my seeds two days ago. I’m going to sprout them and get them started. I have tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, beets, pumpkin and some herbs and aromatics. I’m actually pretty excited about this. I can’t wait to see my little seedlings grow. :) I found your blog because I was looking at no poo methods. I still haven’t done that, but I just started looking the other day and I still have half a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. Anyways, that’s enough about me!

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