Archive for July, 2008

Through the years I have intentionally simplified my life down, on every level I can. In a society where excess is the norm, and in many cases encouraged, it is a sure challenge. Considering the critical state of the planet and all the creatures that live here, this may be the worthiest challenge I can think of.

I thought it would be interesting, both for myself and for whoever might stumble upon this, to list all the ways I can think of where we have reduced here in our home and in our lives – lightened up our impact and limited down our consumption. The idea is to inspire further efforts. The idea is to ultimately live harmoniously with the planet and everything that lives on it. I think it is important to act as though everything we do matters to the life of another living being – because it really, really does.

R E D U C I N G  it down, to a list…

  • We drive only 2-3 times a month
  • We only flush when needed (it is really less times a day than you might think!)
  • We eat whole foods rather than packaged foods where ever possible, which allows us to buy much of our food in bulk
  • We eat organically grown foods, almost only
  • We eat fruit instead of fruit juice
  • We buy bulk tea instead of tea bags (no need for box, tea bag package, tea bag, tag)
  • We are vegetarian (it is stunning, the ratio of resources used to resource output in the meat industry)
  • We have a water filtration system (no landfill filling plastic water bottles!)
  • We compost
  • We recycle everything we can
  • We reuse what packaging is suitable for things like shipping materials (those awful plastic blister packs make great padding!)
  • We shop at thrift stores almost exclusively. There are SO many useful things that people get rid of.
  • What we do not buy at the thrift store we buy from small organic businesses (Check out VitalBodies.com for a great selection of carefully chosen organic bedding, towels, water filtration and other such sustainable household items).
  • Our home is filled with natural materials and fibers, which means everything in it will biodegrade! Oh, how I love this!
  • We use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaners
  • We do not watch TV or movies (if you think about it, this really does fit on this list!)
  • We have a “bug cup” with which we take spiders, flies, moths, and other creatures that get into our home, back outside so they can find what they need (often moths cannot seem to make their way back out). Nothing is squashed, flicked or swatted in our house.
  • We bring our own cloth bags (some of which I made myself out of recycled fabrics) when we shop for food. Since we only shop once or twice a month, this requires a lot of bags! I forget every now and then and it is always stunningly A M A Z I N G how many bags just ONE TRIP OUT accumulates.
  • I will add to this list as I can…

We often talk about “the things of things of things…” when you have things, it usually requires more things to maintain, update, coordinate with, recycle, get rid of, transport, etc those things, if you know what I mean. Less truly becomes more, as there is more time and energy for more useful, progressive, healthy endeavors.

I would love to hear ideas about how others reduce and give back to the earth. Comments are sincerely welcome.

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A new series of bags is afoot and the first was released today. In a rogue wandering from my forethought plans, I started to sketch out some new ideas. With my sketchings came thoughts of what the modern bohemian artist traveler needs to tote their stuff, whether it be down a city street or an old growth trail.

The first in the ‘Rogue’ series is La Boheme; a casual, feminine bag with ample space for your get-up-and-gos. Available in the shop, now! Enjoy!

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Living on the coast and in the trees offers me a unique opportunity to observe the life forms that live in their natural habitat right up close. As the summer really warms things up, the bees are returning (yay! we were worried for a while!) and the hummingbirds are more playful and the goldfinches and sparrows visit our deck for the organic sunflower seeds we offer. I appreciate their visits and the constant reminders of how important it is to live with respect for other creatures. They all live with respect for each other and it works so harmoniously.

Blue Jay

Yesterday, while in my sister’s backyard cleaning a window, a little bird came near and perched on a low wire. She was chirping and chirping and chirping with such a clear intensity. She was but 6 feet from my head and she was defininitley talking to ME. While trying to sense what she was telling me, I turned to my right and took notice of a dead shrub in a large planter pot. Nestled in the base of the plant was a small nest made of woven dried grasses, and in the nest were 4 tiny eggs, each about the size of a small grape tomato. I let my sister know so she will take care to leave it alone and keep her little ones away from it. Even though I don’t speak bird I got the message. It’s a fun and worthy challenge to try to understand the communication of other creatures. It is also important not to alienate ourselves into the confines of humanness. We are creatures too, and this goes far beyond simple humanness.

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I Love hemp. It is an amazing plant in almost any way you could think of. As a plant, it grows remarkably fast, making it highly sustainable. It is resistant to pests, which means it does not require pesticides for healthy growth. It is an incredibly versatile plant and all of it’s parts can be utilized. The seed is delicious, edible and highly nutritious. The oil is healing and moisturizing. The fiber can be applied to a multitude of uses from textiles (like the Blossom Bag and the BRING IT ALL messenger) and non-toxic diesel fuel to building materials. You could even build a house with hemp! It is a long staple fiber, which makes it strong and durable. It is also highly resistant to mildew and UV.

Blossom Bag in Chocolate Hemp

The Blossom Bag has been in high demand this week, so here is a peek at my available hemp fabric options, which you can feel free to request. (These options also apply to any of my bags). I hope to have the Blossom Bag made up and photographed in Natural and Sage sometime next week. The Natural and Sage are 100% hemp. The Chocolate is a blend of 55% organic cotton / 45% hemp.

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