600 Posts Later: My, How We've Changed.


me and the daughter in our worn agains- I am the one on the left.

It has been over a year and 600 posts since we started writing for TreeHugger. We started here with an interest in design, prefab and a vague idea that living with less was the key to sustainability. We have read and we have written, we have cut and we have pasted and most importantly, we have learned. When Warren wrote his first anniversary post we felt like poseurs- we do not begin to live such a TreeHugger lifestyle. We are older and have a bit of inertia, real estate and other sources of resistance to change but when we look back, we realize we have changed, from the soles of our Worn Again shoes on up. Like Warren, we will cover an average day in the life: I wake up in a big old brick house that is about as energy efficient as an old canvas tent. A few years ago I replaced the windows in the back of our house- lovely double glazed vinyl frames. Is John Laumer right or are they evil incarnate? A year after John's post, I am convinced they are evil.

I breakfast on a wonderful fresh fruit salad of mangoes, citrus fruits and apples, followed by a bowl of delicious Swedish muesli. Welcome to the 10,000 mile diet- could I not find something more local? At least I follow it up with a strong Kicking Horse fair trade organic hit of espresso.

I hit the shower, supplied by our new on-demand Rinnai super-efficient water heater. Of course one never runs out of hot water so you can stay in it forever, but we leave that to our daughter and get out quickly so there is some saving.

I shampoo with a brick of all-natural ingredients cooked up in a bathtub in Montreal by Earth to Body, makers of many fine products that we keep meaning to post about but don't get around to.

I shave with Kiss My Face natural shaving lotion and wonder why anyone pays for a can of aerosol shaving cream, it is so smooth and comfortable and close.

I work from home so it is a short walk to the office, and I sit down in front of my new Viewsonic widescreen LCD monitor on my 1947 George Nelson desk, which freed up an acre of desk space from my old Dell CRT, uses far less power and does not bathe me in radiation. What little power it uses comes from Bullfrog.

I dress, putting on my Worn Agains and looking for my stupid Jimi wallet that I saw on TreeHugger and bought but that really does not deal with money very well and what is a wallet for? The sacrifices we make. I put a "less is more" button on my shirt, a gift from my sis bought at the amazing Modernism-designing a new world show at the V&A; in London.

I get on my Norco road bike to go to a meeting downtown. I bought it at a police auction for 60 bucks 15 years ago and it is worth twenty times that- everyone wanted mountain bikes and ignored it. I learn why- the Toronto streets are so rotten they shake your teeth out, a bit of shock absorption would be welcome.

I lunch on lentils. We have become obsessed with healthier eating and are constantly trying out new vegetarian recipes, and eat far less meat than we used to.

I meet with clients (I sell prefabs) and try and convince them to buy more insulation and upgrade to wood windows and eliminate vinyl. It is a struggle, everyone is obsessed with the price per square foot and just don't get the TreeHugger message. But there are the occasional successes, and Glidehouses and green modern prefabs are getting built. I feel better.

We go to the local farmers market, something that would not have occurred to us a year ago. The organic produce is all imported and we take a pass on that, but find local asparagus has arrived and the apple cider, pressed this morning, is to die for. And, it was much more fun than going to the local supermarket. We could have walked there in half an hour or biked in ten but I admit, we drove our four year old four cylinder Subaru.

The Daughter is staying late at school so we have a vegetarian dinner from Jamie Kennedy's cookbook. Do a few posts, approve a few comments and off to bed.

All in all, pretty thin gruel, not much of a change. We are restrained by history, circumstance and budget from making major readjustments at the rate we would like to. Yet not a day goes by without us thinking about what we can do, what we have learned and where we can go from here. Check in next May and we might put Warren to shame.

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