Living the Good Life How One Family Changed Their World

Living the Good Life How One Family Changed Their World from Their Own Backyard Everyone thinks of changing the world but no one thinks of changing himself Leo TolstoyThis is an inspiring story of a small family in Australia and their six month adventure of not spending money Everything they use and consume is grown produced scavenged or bartered although mostly everything is produced and grown by the family They have a composting toilet rainwater barrels solar panels a giant garden a nasty goat a bunch of chickens and an incredible ability to look at the possibilities of the world instead of limitations The triumphs and failures of the holiday are here for you to celebrate or groan alongside the family The family makes a clear case that nothing in the world will change unless that change starts with them I wish I had that kind of motivation accountability to a better worldTrev Linda have been on the path to a sustainable lifestyle for a while so they already have a lot of the capital invested to switch over for this experiment It would be unsustainable for most families to just lose an income Linda stays home to care for their homestead bike everywhere start homeschooling build tremendous gardens and move their house toward waterenergy independence for six months There is a lot of sage advice here especially if you live in a similar climate but it is definitely not a manual for your own six months of spending free living The book is laid out brilliantly Anecdotes from the journal section of the book segue into how to sectiona complete with recipes or building advice followed by a fact heavy subchapter that correlates with the larger national issue at hand water consumption power consumption factory farming pesticides and so on It flows really well and avoids common traps of books like this superiority complexes guilt trips I never felt like I was reading a text book but there was a lot of dense information available Additionally a memoirjournal like this can come across as very biased but these interspersed factoid sections grounded the family's work in reality scienceyou can follow the cockburn family on linda's blog here A Fascinating journal of how one family in Australia turned their backyard into a farm and lived off of what they themselves could produce or barter for 6 monthsThis was particularly refreshing because it was from an Australian viewpoint It wasn't all about how terrible the US is although the US is mentioned occasionally but specifically about their country and things people can do to make a differenceIf we lived in a better area one that did not spray pesticides every summer I would be most interested in trying something similar although maybe not uite as intense A family of three Mum Dad and son document living for six months without spending any money The father continues to work riding his boke to work each day The mother runs the house and the garden and ends up homeschooling her son They bartered excess produce in return for some grocery items and animal feed and they occasional found themselves having to buy something a new laptop on one occasion fish and chips on another but they lived six months without spending a significant amount of moneyI found the book an interesting look into this kind of life It is not a 'how to' guide as the family had most of the infrastructure in place prior to beginning the challenge The vegetable garden and livestock were well established they had a composting toilet and solar powerThe book paints a rather grey picture of the period There is a huge focus on the difficulties and wishing for things that they have voewed not to have I have no doubt that this is exactly what it was like for six months but if it was so bad I do not understand why they continued What I actually suspect and this is back up by something the father wrote at the end of the book is that they had a great deal to enjoy the author mostly the mother just fails to relay this to the reader It is not until the challenge is over and the family splurges that the author finally reflects on how much they enjoyed the challengeWhat I didn't like was the book was really just a blog Entries were dated and a bit all over the place It would have benefited from being written as a book rather than daily log entries It would have benefited from a good editor who encouraged the writer to rewrite the book in a way that is easier to readI want to say I feel inspired and to some extent I am However the bleak picture painted through the book makes it uite difficult I am left with images of bizarre food combinations and fussy eaters and very little enjoyment However there is a lot to be learnt from the book and I would still recommend it as a good read Living the Good Life is the story of an Australian family who try to spend 6 months without spending any money They grow their own food given that they're in Australia it's a bit exotic fare than spuds and kale keep a goat and chickens and barter for things they can't make They use solar energy and rain water and cycle everywhere until they need to take their son to the hospitalIt's written in the form of a diary but there's also inserts on various environmental issues such as waste and water use a critical issue in Australia as well as recipes and some lovely colour pictures The crops they grow might be beyond people in a cooler climate but there's still plenty here of use as well as the inspiration value I read the first half in one sitting it's a good read Possibly my favourite book; so inspiring Loaned by a friend this enjoyable read was a mostly fascinating and at times tediously detailed story of a family in Gympie who set themselves a challenge to live 6 months without spending Loved the recipes gardening stories innovation and the adventures of Possum the goat A fine read during and post Christmas excess Pg 118 Exercise cycling or strolling They both burn calories but exercise cycling burns 3 times as many caloriesPg xii Emissions from 1 liter of gas pollutes 10500 liters of air Where does she get thatPg 1 Her plan is to go 6 months without spending a dollarPg 8 She brings Bill Mollison and permaculture in and has a brief list of ethics and principlesPg 10 She makes a case for getting calories from the sun Even at low percentage of efficiencyPg 13 Oh dear the kid wears no clothesPg 53 They got a composting toilet and it didn't smell Published in 2006 this seems pretty cutting edge Laws reuire that this compost be buried All this work and they say it's becoming popularPg 100 This is not a book to read to your homeschooling childPg 103 Very good explanation of lactose intolerance PgShe goes over hot water heaters but doesn't mention on demand hot water heaters 50 degree C will eliminate harmful bacteria What is that in f Get only the right size unit and keep the hot water pipes short Pg 141 Sounds like there's a devise that flushes the first water that falls on the roof and then saves the restPg 149 A joke about a hospital birthPg 161 Alright they have started homeschoolingPg 212 Caleb the son gets into gardening by using manly tools Machete etc How about using the mind to invent to solve a problemPg 214 When shopping for a computer look at the energy efficiencyPg 241 A new term; Downshifters I just added it to the dictionary A really great account of one family's attempt to reduce their ecological footprint by simplifying their lives Inspiring challenging informative and very readable Linda Cockburn gives an honest account of the joys and pitfalls of their experiment a commitment to producing their own food and electricity riding bikes for transport not spending any money for 6 months A must read for anyone interested in the environment sustainability simplicity or minimalism Inspiring and challenging this chronicle of a uniue household experiment takes readers inside one family’s environmental test Already mindful of the impact human activity has on the environment the author and her family decided to take a further step towards thoughtful living by aiming for complete domestic sustainability For six months the Cockburns grew bartered for and made everything they ate; used exclusively solar power; collected rainwater for drinking cleaning and cooking; parked the cars and turned to bicycles; and aimed to not spend a single dollar From just their average home on an average sized lot they experienced success surprises and challenges in their uest—all while learning about themselves as a family Whether readers are looking for lessons on adopting some—or all—of the Cockburns' practices or are just curious about what it might take to “do it yourself” even deeply this story will bring them along for the ride This book tells the story of a family who decided to live off their land for six months They try not to spend any money and live as sustainably as possible This book is Australian and there was a lot of Aussie slang in the writing which was interesting I also learned a lot about water and power conservation Unfortunately I also found this book to be a bit dull I'm not uite sure why

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