Ten low-tech responses to storms and emergencies

We live in a world dependent on electricity and we forget that being dependent on something — however wonderful that thing is — makes you vulnerable. Even getting a back-up generator isn't a painless solution for household resilience. A medium-size generator can cost $50 or more per day in fuel to run. And just hope that your local gas stations don't lose power or sell out to panic buyers before … [Read more...]

Getting my pilot’s license

Ever since we first got together my husband and I have talked about how to respond to one of our key shared interests — peak oil. For us this means, first of all, a conservation-minded approach to life — using less energy, wasting less, and relying on reusable materials such as hankies and eco-cups, carrying our own grocery bags, and growing much of our own food and cooking it ourselves. But … [Read more...]

Upcycling at its best. Review: “Sewing Green”

There's a lot of books out there on crafting and artisan-level work. They're usually how-to's that combine techniques, project ideas, and patterns. Some are wonderful but too often the projects either don't stand the test of time, or are a real stretch in terms of the use-value of the end product. Betz White's Sewing Green: 25 Projects with Repurposed & Organic Materials is a real exception. … [Read more...]

A blanket on every chair

Time was when Americans used to be frugal. We took great pride in not being wasteful, and taking nothing for granted. Perhaps our pioneering roots and turns into economic depression left a lasting impression on us concerning the relationship between effort and reward. Perhaps that alone caused us to consider more deeply the cost of things, whether with our own labor, or in paying for things from … [Read more...]

Revolutionary mess kit

Occupiers, revolutionaries and soup eaters of all stripes have been writing in to Lindsay's List to tell me they love the idea of making, sharing and living on revolutionary soup as part of their commitment to the #OccupyWallStreet movement. But, they wonder, how do you serve up soup to a bunch of protesters without generating a lot of trash? No mess rebel Firs things first. Those who are … [Read more...]

Elbow grease on the industrial economy

My effort to use less doesn't always come easily. As a product of my own over-consuming and unconscious society, I'm constantly forced to bring more awareness to my actions to avoid the hyper-consumption of the industrial economy. This is made no easier by being immersed in a culture that constantly tells me to... Take the easy way out Live the high life Get a newer/better/shinier … [Read more...]

Food, unplugged!

It's a tough act to achieve or even to attempt but, following the success of the documentary film No Impact Man, YES! Magazine has launched a No Impact Week, which is happening now. If I was a better blogger, I would've let you know about it before it started so you could gear up for a whole lot of low-carbon living this week. But as you know, the cobbler's children have no shoes and such is the … [Read more...]

Why women matter to the energy conversation

I can't think of any moms I know (and even those I don't) who would sprinkle a dose of poison on her kid's food. I can't think of any who would blow mercury particulates in her kid's face. Nor any who would wish for her child a lower standard of living in the future than she now enjoys. Who does? Moms are the super champions of kids, wanting only the best for her offspring. Your kid's future … [Read more...]

Urban legend or cause for worry?

Recently a local monthly newspaper, Echo, ran a story about the unsafe levels of Benzene, a carcinogen, found in sealed, parked cars baking in the sunlight. According to the article (sorry, not available online), off-gassing from all the plastic and petroleum-based components in the car builds up under sunlight. The author advised that drivers and riders ventilate the car before getting in, … [Read more...]

Let your fingers do the walking

  I've grown increasingly sick of receiving catalogs in the mail. It's not that I don't admire the amazing products being made out there and how cleverly (if not insidiously) they are sold in glossy, lovely catalogs. Between the great photography and high quality materials, some of the clothes, tools, decor, plants and foods available by mail order are definitely desirable. That so much … [Read more...]