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220: Simplicity, Joy and Social Change

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

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When Cecile Andrews asked herself, “What matters?” the answer popped up: “Having time to do the things you want to do.” She simplified her life, quit her full-time job, and started simplicity circles to support others in savoring life. Now she has expanded into neighborhood stop-and-chats and a Gross National Happiness movement. Her latest book advocates broadening the joy in our lives Less is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, A Caring Economy, and Lasting Happiness. [cecileandrews.com]

 

BlipTV | Janaia’s journal Cecile Andrews - From Simplicity Circles to Community Building | iTunes | Audio  

 

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215 An Earthen House Built by Hand

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

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“I think it’s very very important to know you can provide things for yourself… build your own house… grow your own food… make your own medicine.” Walking his talk, Greg Crawford shows the magical wattle-and-cob house he built with hand tools using local materials: alder trees in the surrounding forest, and clay from what later became the house floor. Building his house was an “experiment in intuitive architecture … using common sense while “letting the building evolve, change and grow on its own.”

 

Watch the high-quality video. Listen to  Audio. Download video on iTunes. Read Janaia’s journal A Tiny House for Middle Earth.

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213: Two Households, One Car

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

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At first Judy Alexander was reluctant to share a car with neighbors Richard and Sue Dandridge. But their invitation intrigued her, especially since her aging car felt unsafe for long trips. After a trial year, she found the arrangement freeing and sold her car. Judy and Richard discuss their process the agreement, scheduling, upkeep, and changing life circumstances. Beyond saving money on maintenance and insurance, there are a lot of unexpected benefits: shared errands, closer relationships, and simpler living.

 

Watch high-quality video. Listen to Audio.  Download video on iTunes.

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209: Growing Up in the First Great Depression

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

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Janaia’s mother Rowena grew up in a blue collar family during the 1930s. The kids helped their mom in her own pie delivery business while their dad did construction odd jobs. In this cash-only society, they lived on what they could pay for. She recalls losing her only pair of shoes and envying a school girl’s daily peanut butter-and-jam sandwich. But she didn’t feel deprived: people generously gave groceries and hand-me-down clothes. Kids entertained themselves with outdoor games, and later, from adventures emanating from the home-built radio. Her frugality, self-reliant attitude and do-it-yourself skills went on to enrich the family Janaia grew up in.

 

Watch high-quality video. Listen to Audio.  Download video on iTunes. Read Janaia’s journal ”Octogenarian Recalls The First Great Depression.” 

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197: Portable House, Simple Life

Monday, July 18th, 2011

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pm197_200.jpg Embarrassed by her middle class affluence after a visit to Guatemala, Dee Williams grabbed her hammer, built a tiny house on wheels, downsized to less than 400 possessions, and parked her house in a friend’s yard. Her living arrangement then blossomed into a multi-generational family / community. Dee shows us her warm and comfy 7×12 foot house, how she meets city codes, and some unusual ways this life has affected her. Her advice to wannabe tiny home builders: Take on the experiment. Just do it! [http://portlandalternativedwellings.com/]

Listen to Audio.  Download video on iTunes.
Read Janaia’s journal “Dee Williams’ “Little House” - A Moveable Room of Her Own.”

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160: A Young Couple Find Freedom in Simple Living

Monday, January 18th, 2010

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pm160_150.jpgRather than follow the customary American dream, Tammy and Logan sold their home and car, and moved to a bikeable/walkable neighborhood in Sacramento, California. After reading Derrick Jensen’s writings, this couple used Your Money or Your Life as a means to get out of debt and, they feel, regain their lives and their future. While they recount the psychological challenges of facing a future of declining resources, the catalyst that continues to move them forward is a dream of living in an affordable tiny house within a supportive community. (rowdykittens.com).

Listen to audio. Read in Janaia’s Journal about our visit to tape them.

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112 Learning From the Collapse of Earlier Societies

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

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pm112_150.jpgAccording to Professor Guy Prouty, every civilization rises, evolves, and then collapses to a simpler structure — and this will include our own. Comparing America with the Western Roman Empire, Prouty notes the over-reach of our military, the unsustainability of capitalism, peak oil, and climate change. And, this time, we may see a global collapse. Transitioning to a simpler society will require us to change behavior and consciousness: decrease energy, get out of debt, decentralize, de-consume, grow our own food, build community, see ourselves as connected to the planet. Collapse is not the end, he says. It’s part of a natural cycle.

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111: We Make the Road by Walking - White Oak Farm CSA

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

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pm111_150.jpgAmidst cob-wall plastering in the background, co-director Stacey Denton relays the story of the first years at White Oak Farm and Educational Center in Oregon: Acquiring the 62 acres of food and pasture and protecting it through conservation easements, and creating a non-profit organization. See food baskets for their CSA (community supported agriculture) program, visit their abundant permaculture-based farm; attend a workshop in natural building; and delight with kids in an educational program “down on the farm.” [www.whiteoakfarmcsa.org]

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105: For the Love of Trees

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

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Though born and raised elsewhere, Jerry Becker is now a de facto indigenous member of Oregon’s Elk River watershed. The credo he lives by is Respect. He and his family have lived lightly “long before it was cool.” An ecoforester, Jerry manages the woods sensitively with an eye to its wholeness. For the past thirty years he has worked with Friends of Elk River to protect wilderness regions in the watershed. In the last decade he formed the Elk River Land Trust, working with private landowners to protect agricultural and forest lands from development. Ripples of his gentle respectfulness permeate the Elk River forest community. [www.foer.org, www.erlt.org]

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103: Building An Ecologically Sensible Home

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

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pm103_150.jpgWanting to live a “reasonable, comfortable life” in tune with nature, Ann and Gord Baird are building a near “net zero energy” home on
Vancouver Island. Their plans: the first load bearing, seismically engineered, two story, insulated, cob residence in North America. Solar PV panels for electricity with grid tie. (Wind power will come later.) Passive solar design with solar thermal for hydronic heating and domestic hot water. Composting toilets to enrich the earth for gardens along with grey water recovery for orchard irrigation. Rainwater catchment from a living roof tops off this sustainable, affordable, natural home for their three-generation family of six. Follow their progress at www.eco-sense.ca.

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