After 15 years in the Swedish forest I moved to Luxembourg. I found a nice house with a wonderful garden in a nice village with nice people. Life was great…And comfortable; streetlights, paved roads, water and plumbing all done, woopwoop! I was looking forward to a life more comfortable and easier than the years in the forest, but within a sustainable frame. Trust me, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes thought and planning:
- Shopping is done in stores – always. This means packaging galore and boy are people into packaging! So I make choices based on the packaging and of course the foodstuffs; no expensive crappy packaged and processed food.
- Trash: Luxembourg is amazing in that you get little bins for recycling that then are collected at your house every 2 weeks – impressive! I started a compost where a lot of stuff goes, including the ashes from the stove. The bonus of the compost is that the moles have stopped killing off my plants and instead hang out in the compost which we now call the mole-feeder 🙂 I ordered the smallest dustbin, 60 liters, which is collected once a week. Thanks to the mole-feeder and the brilliant recycling, this tiny dustbin is more than enough, even when my house is full.
- Heating: Luxembourg is a lot less cold in winter than Sweden and already that simplifies a lot. I have electric heating in the house and during winter keeping the house warm would cost me a fortune, so I installed a wood-burning stove that heats more or less the whole house. It takes work and planning but it functions beautifully and I can keep my living-area wonderfully warm. I absolutely detest cold weather and refuse to go outside unnecessarily in winter, the wood-work forces me out every day for some good strength-training…Automatic health 🙂
- Water: There seems to be unlimited amounts of water all the time, the hot water is created in a boiler. It is so easy to just use, use, use…This is a bit trickier to keep check of, but I keep the usage down, no need to use everything just because it’s there. And the garden must survive the occasional dry spell in summer.
At the end of the day my bills are down, my house is warm, the moles are fed and my garden gives me berries and fruit in abundance…I love making jam 🙂 I don’t grow my food as I used to in the forest because I am really enjoying the comfort of life here and growing food is a lot of work.
Conclusion: Even if I was stinking rich and could get everything I wanted in the amounts I wanted it, I would still live this way. What might have started out as an economical solution or necessity has turned into a life-style of respect for the Earth and all the gifts she showers us with. Everything has a price even if we don’t notice it and we need to remember that.
Another noteworthy point is that sustainable living is automatically healthy and even if it takes some work and planning, it is still both easier and cheaper than going to the gym or trying to stay on a diet. You can only win.