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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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Sustainability Bloggers That Changed My Life: Part 1

I have been blogging for over three years now - three years!! (We’re on our third year of Growing Challenges!) And I will tell you that this blog has changed my life in so many large and small ways.  And know this:  it has most definitely set my life down a different road than I would have taken without it.  A very, very good road.

I began writing as a way to catalog Matt and my journey toward self-sufficiency back in Geyeserville, California, town of 1,600.  I wanted to help others learn from our failures and few successes.  But I had never written a blog post before in my life!

It has been a long road to learning and growing as a writer as well as someone who lives sustainably.  I’ve had the help and support of several people along the way.  This series is about the bloggers who have been there for me – they’ve helped push me in sustainable living, in my writing, and in becoming who I am today.

Sustainability Bloggers That Changed My Life

Rhonda1.  Rhonda Hetzel, Down To Earth. Who knows how we find the blogs we do – we follow one, and their blogroll leads to another, which leads to a third, where we click on yet another link until we find something that really sticks.  Is that about right?  Well however it was, one day I ended up upon Rhonda’s blog and was amazed at the way she was able to engage her readers.

So, I wrote her!  I wrote Rhonda and I asked her how she built up her blog, what tricks she might pass on, and just how she started.  She was ever so generous and kind with her time.  I think quite honestly what helped me the most was her telling me to look at some “How to Blog” blogs.  I spent many many days reading and reading!

But more than anything, Rhonda has been so supportive of me, my writing, and my life.  She and I trade emails occasionally, and we blog together at the Simple Green Frugal Co-op – which Rhonda founded!  Thank you, Rhonda, for all you have done and continue to do.  You are truly an inspiration.

Green Bean2.  Michelle/Green Bean, The Green Phone Booth.   Michelle and I actually met via the Riot for Austerity listserv.  She was looking for ways to help her son through his newly diagnosed asthma, and I had already gone through all of that for myself, so I had loads of tips!  We kept in touch after that, sharing local food resources (we lived probably 50 miles from one another), learning both of our husbands have the same name, and generally supporting one another as we built our online communities and learned about sustainable living.

A couple years later, Michelle found her sustainable life was taking her outside of her home to work with her child’s school and do many things in her community.  So she gave up the beloved Green Bean Dreams blog and started up a cooperative blog – The Green Phone Booth – with several other green moms.

While having never met her in person (someday!), I am proud to call Michelle a friend of mine – we have learned a lot from one another, and without her support it’s likely I would not be where I am today.

To Be Continued…

What Are Your Favorite Blogs?

Please share!  Are there blogs that have really changed your life?

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6 comments to Sustainability Bloggers That Changed My Life

  • Casaubon’s Book (now the Chatelaine’s Keys) changed my life ( I Sharon’s blog looking for the best ways to store root vegetables and ended up reading and reading and reading until I’d nearly forgotten why I came.

  • I second both Casaubon’s Book and Chatelaine’s Keys. I also really love the Shiba Guyz’ blog ( When I was living in DC trapped in an office for 12 hours a day, going home to a little basement apartment, their urban gardening project was absolutely revelatory for me.

  • Suzanne McMinn’s “Chickens In The Road” blog was a big help to me! She coveres all areas of sustainable living all done with her funny, down-to-Earth writing.

  • The two you listed are definitely two on my list with Rhonda’s practical explanations being incredibly helpful. I used to follow Green as a Thistle & No Impact Man, but no longer do after the completion of their projects. I also think that Chile Chews and Crunchy Chicken are very insightful and have lots of good ideas, but again only check in on them hit or miss anymore. Otherwise I mainly follow and am inspired by several of the lesser known bloggers.

  • Melinda, thank you so much for the mention. I’m so proud to have inspired. My circle of inspiration has shrunk dramatically and these days I am, indeed, immersed in my son’s school. It is a wonderful community and over the last month, I worked on the school’s rummage sale. A way to reuse thousands of objects, build friendships and raise money. I plan to visit the cooperative blog, Green Phone Booth, from time to time. Take care! And someday we really will meet, friend!

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