Category Archives: Sustainability

Meet the new Live Lightly Tour Family!

Meet the Malson’s! You can check out their blog at http://www.ecowomb.com/about, and the Live Lightly bus has a new look as the Eco Womb Tour rolls on!

Little Boxes: Live Lightly Tour Veggie Bus featured in E-Magazine!

See the full article here:

Tiny Texas Houses are built almost entirely of salvaged materials and cost between $60,000 and $90,000.
© Tiny Texas Houses

http://www.emagazine.com/view/?4669

And Yes! The bus is for sale! Contact Kim at dancemntn@yahoo.com for info. We are settling down in Nashville, TN so we are having to move on from bus life! Please let us know if you are interested!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Earth Day!

 

Thought I would just let our muppet friends spread the love today!

Easter Down At The Farm

Lovely little lambs, originally uploaded by dancemntn.

So, I sort’ve have an addiction to e-newsletters. Ok, I DO have an addiction to e-newsletters.  I sign up for them all the time, mostly because I know I’ll lose touch with a lot of really cool websites that I run across. Because of that, my email box is full of stuff I’ll never get a chance to read that just go straight to trash. BUT, there is one that I read every time it pops in my inbox. It’s the Local Harvest  update for my Plano area ( I’ve added Boulder,CO to that list just for laughs and giggles.) I totally recommend checking this website out and signing up for an email notification of events around you, like farmer’s markets, gleaning groups, CSA’s,  and local farm happenings. 

 Anyway, there aren’t a ton of events or postings that show up around  DFW, but a couple of weeks ago I noticed a posting that was right up my alley! Cindy from Jacob’s Reward Farm in Parker had invited some of her shareholders and friends to an Easter egg hunt at the farm. I quickly emailed her to check things out and she was so gracious to have Parks and I come as visitors. The weather turned out perfect and Parks got his candy fill for the day. He didn’t want to leave, he could have just chilled with the chickens all day. (Well, he mostly heckled them……especially after one laid an egg!) We got to see their sheep, Shadrach and Zacheaus, Lucy the ewe, the baby lambs and the alpacas too.  (Forgive me, I can’t remember all their names. ) After some of the guests had  left, he was able to feed the donkeys, Aaron and Moses. He loved every minute of it.

Cindy also showed me her cool knitting studio. I’m not a knitter, but I sure do have some friends that would have totally gone crazy! Maybe I’ll go take a class w/her one day. Check out her website here, http://jacobsreward.com/index.htm  and her blog, http://www.jacobsreward.blogspot.com/    where she posts all kinds of fun things happening at the farm. Parks and I will definitely have to go back and maybe next time drag Jeff there and put him to work!!!! Footnote-Poor Jeff was slaving away that day at our storage room organizing it so we could actually get to stuff!

Click on the lamb pic above to see photos from the farm hunt, for eggs that is.

Welcome to Bus Life 101

Kitchen…….and Mr. Parks, originally uploaded by dancemntn.

I apologize I haven’t been updating our blog with more then just a couple of sentences lately. We’ve been crazy-busy packing and moving our belongings into storage so that we could finally call our bus home for a while. And no, before you get too excited wondering if we have hit the road, I have to tell you that we are staying put in TX for now. This is where we’ve been placed for the time being and I’m guessing there are many reasons for that (not that I know all of them). But what I do know is that this transition to smaller living has been easier then I ever dreamed it would be. Having only owned one vehicle between the two of us for almost a year, selling alot of our “stuff” last summer, and just knowing that this move would get us closer to our goals just prepared us for our jump into tiny house living.
This is our third week in the bus and the time has really flown. We’ve both been amazed at how natural it feels to be living this way. I think I’ll just list some reasons that we’ve come up with so far:
Living in such a small space requires everyone to do their part, so there is no being lazy about anything. It makes us take responsibility for everything we do, whether that’s taking care of the dog, making sure items are picked up and put away everytime they are used, taking out our small bags of trash and dumping the recycling when it gets full, and monitoring our use of hot water (we only have a 6 gallon hot water tank). We are so much more aware of the requirements of simpler living. Either use it, reuse it, recycle it, or don’t buy it in the first place! This bus has great storage, but there is no room for excess. RV’ing is the perfect example of conserving resources like water and electricity and I will talk more about that in a future post.   It has been a joy for me to be able to work by natural sunlight in my new “office.”

Another major thing we’ve learned is that this life all about living purposefully and realizing that everything you do and what type of attitude you have doing it affects the people you live with in a major way.We also get outside so much more then we ever did living in our duplex. Yes, we had a backyard, but we also had everything we needed inside too, so the yard was never a very enjoyable place to be. Now, out of necessity, the outdoors becomes your kitchen, your play area, and somewhere to get some fresh air and exercise. Marley’s happier when she gets exercise, and so are we, because after working desk jobs all day, we need the walks way more then she does. Parks loves to tag along with his bike and is loving our little patio area. It’s the perfect place for him to hang out with his trucks and rocks, his dream!
So, that’s in a nutshell what we’ve been experiencing so far this month. Of course, the summer may bring a whole new twist to this experience, but as of right now we will enjoy this cooler spring weather while we can. I’ll also be adding some more pics to the bus set, click on the pic above to see the current set of photos I’ve posted on our Flickr. Just wanted to at least get a quick update out about the move.  I also have some Easter egg hunt pics from Jacob’s Reward Farm in Parker, TX still to post and will blog about some other topics I’ve been wanting to chat about.

Until next time………

Have cup, will travel………

 

Coffee for the road

Reusable coffee mugs (Target special and mug made from recycled plastic)

BYOC-Bring your own cup!
So, for more then a decade, we’ve been carrying around our own coffee mugs and water bottles (before Nalgenes were “scarey”) wherever we went.  We’ve probably saved thousands and thousands of coffee cups from going in the landfill without blinking an eye. It just became a habit and I liked it better when I didn’t have to worry about putting that plastic top on my scalding hot drink and risk burning myself and wasting a good hot beverage (I have a very good memory of not applying that top so perfectly once.) Plus, it just kept my drink warmer then those paper cups with the cardboard bracelets always did. Now, we can’t leave the house without taking our cups just in case we might grab a cup of joe while we are out on the weekends. We even bought a couple of plastic mugs with an IKEA special where you could get lifetime coffee where you purchased the cup. Now that’s dedication!
Check out this coffee waste calculator and see how many pounds of waste you can save by just using a reusable cup!
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Camping Necessities (Stainless Steel water bottles, Dr. Bronner’s
 Peppermint and Sal Suds natural soaps)
Bottle Love
We’ve moved from using the bulky plastic bottles to mainly stainless steel bottles. They clean up really well and don’t seem to get as funky as the plastic ones.( Here is a link to a page on Nalgene’s website that has a good FAQ section on BPA, here. )We fill those up for traveling, to take to a workout class, and for heading to the park. Instead of stocking up on plastic water bottles for camping, we’ll fill up those large reusable water jugs with filtered water or just purchase multiple gallons at a time. We definitely have to invest in a Brita or other water filter, since we are not fans of our local tap flavor! Some good brands of stainless steel bottles to look for are Kleen Kanteen, Sigg,and a company out of California that I just stumbled upon with some beautiful designs called EarthLust.
Investing in reusable anything whether it’s water bottles, coffee mugs, or kitchen napkins  is a great idea for saving money and reducing waste. I don’t use paper napkins anymore, just some reusable cloth napkins I got on sale from Steinmart that I absolutely love. We keep paper towels in the house just in case we need them, but they don’t go to constant use in the house for cleaning or just wiping up spills.
For me, living “lighter” on the planet shouldn’t have to cost you anything, it should actually save you some cash. Even using refillable mugs might get you a “cup” discount at a local coffee shop, so it’s definitely worth a try!  I feel like every little bit helps, and If I can be conscious of what I’m throwing away, or even recycling, then I’m making steps to living simpler. It stretches my imagination when I force myself to think of ways to reuse things in a different way (without becoming a pack rat). It’s these kind of  habits I’m trying to form, like making sure we have food for the week so that we don’t eat out, and cleaning up once every day so that when Saturday comes I’m not overwhelmed by a house that looks like its been through a tornado. OK, so I think I went off on a rabbit trail there, but those are my simple living thoughts for the day. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps………….
Be faithful in small things, that is where your strength lies. Mother Theresa

Tyler Recycles Day Demo and Tyler State Park Weekend

 

Tyler Recycling Center

Tyler Recycling Center

 

This past weekend in Tyler was a load of fun. We came home exhausted but it was worth every minute.

A couple of weeks ago I contacted Krist Boyett from the City of Tyler about their Recycles Day. I thought it would be good to get in a couple of small events before the holidays hit since the bus was finally ready for demos. She thought it was a great idea that we bring the bus, so we planned to stay at Tyler State Park and make it another good camping/volunteer weekend. They even added us to their flyer and we were mentioned in a couple of their local newspapers for advertisement. They had a great turnout of people who came by to drop off recycleables, I think the final count was 528!  Some people got out of their warm cars and grabbed a pancake/sausage breakfast and checked out the recycling facility. Even though it was chilly morning, we did get a good group that came in to see what we were all about.   A group of kids from a local school had come out to help for the day, so they were able to take a look at the bus too.  It was also nice to meet some guys from the local veggie oil co-op who have converted their diesel VW’s to run on waste veggie oil.  Jeff did most of the “veggie” talk with them, while I took Parks inside to check out all of the recycling stuff. I had plenty of time to visit with the girls that were there from the Caldwell Zoo since their table had a toy recycling truck Parks was obsessed with! Thanks to the city of Tyler for welcoming us!

 

Parks riding his bike at the park

Parks riding his bike at the park

On Friday we made the 1 1/2 hour drive to Tyler State Park to camp for 2 nights. We definitely could have stayed longer. Our site was just a few feet from the lake, so beautiful with the change of seasons! Parks could have ridden his bike all day, and loved the freedom of just being able to play outside for hours, although he’s not good at figuring out the “boundaries”! Jeff also fit some time in to ride the mountain bike trail there, something he’s done now for years, but never often enough. I was able to get some photos of Parks in his favorite place, OUTSIDE!  

Steamy sunrise at Tyler State Park

Steamy sunrise at Tyler State Park

Fall colors at Tyler State Park

Fall colors at Tyler State Park

I definitely recommend Tyler State Park as a destination camping spot. The city of Tyler is just 10 miles away and has anything you would possibly need. I’ve added a video from the park’s website here:

It was definitely nice to be able to camp long enough in the RV for me to learn some more things about how everything works. I kind’ve leave all that stuff up to Jeff to take care of, but I guess need to know how to work everything too. I’ll still let him do the dirty work though!  We’ve only camped in tents, pop-up campers and, a VW van (oops, I brought that up didn’t I? ) in the past so there are way more buttons, switches, pipes, and hookups then I’ve ever seen before. There is still alot for me to learn, but hopefully there will be alot more opportunities for that process. We sure hope we can make this tour work and make the bus our future home. Thanks to everyone who is supporting this dream!

Please check out the pics of the Tyler Recycles Day demo here.

Also, check out the Tyler State Park camping pics here.