A Sustainable Labor Day

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 5.47.34 PMWhat is a Sustainable Labor Day (Week #35)

The WHAT and WHY:

Our founder’s ambitious Norwegian ancestor, Marcus Thrane, an author and journalist, founded and lead the first Norwegian labor union in 1848. In his honor, we are celebrating the economic and social contributions of workers this Labor Day sustainably by writing President Obama, Senator Warren, Senator Markey, Congressman Moulton, and Governor Baker a letter regarding the sustainability imperative and attaching the 2012 Rio+20 Declaration on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability and the 2008 Declaration of Independence: The Sustainability Edition (from my July 4th blog entry).

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 5.47.57 PMWhat better way to commemorate Labor Day sustainably than to celebrate culturally, socially, economically and environmentally with friends and family? Raise eco and sustainable awareness by engaging them in the process this holiday weekend.

The HOW:

  1. Plan a bike adventure and invite your friends. (No GHG emissions)
  2. Enjoy a park or visit a land trust for a Labor Day picnic. (Connect with the planet)
  3. Play Round Robin giving each participant the opportunity to contribute a few words about what this holiday means to them and their culture. (Engagement & inclusivity)
  4. Bring organic food, beer or wine to your Labor Day celebration. (Shop local organic foods, celebrate your local farmers, vintners and brewers, see links below)
  5. Use an organic sunscreen or insect repellent. (Keep toxins out of your body & the environment)
  6. Create your own stainable lifestyle.
  7. Draft your own sustainability bucket list. (This could be fun with friends!)***
  8. Adopt an unemployed or recently graduated sustainable consultant, green activist or sustainability manager. (Pay it forward by mentoring or employing a sustainability advocate. Help them get a client, a job or an academic contract)
  9. Write your congressperson, senator or global leader. (Attach one of the declaration’s above to remind them to consider our joint legacy by representing you and your future generations.)
  10. Enjoy the fruit of your labors on your special day.

The Deep Dive:

How to write a letter to Congress

How to write a letter to the President

How to contact the President

The Sustainability Project

Definition of Eco psychology

Why sip organic beer and wine?

http://www.peakbrewing.com

http://www.ilovebluesea.com/about-ilovebluesea/

10 organic spirits compared, with drink recipes

Meditations on the 1st National Tiny House Jamboree

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 5.34.26 PMMeditations on the 1st National Tiny House Jamboree (Week #34)

The WHAT and WHY:

I had been looking forward to speaking at the 1st National Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs for months. After driving for three days straight over 2200 miles from Northern New England, it’s a bit ironic that my car, which has not had a repair issue or breakdown during the ten years I have owned it, died 25 miles from the Jamboree sight in rush hour traffic at 92 degrees.

HondaBillI overcame so much to build my Silver Bullet Tiny House, this was just a blip on my radar. Six hours and $782. worth of repairs later, I had a new alternator, battery and wire connections replaced in my oldie, but goodie, 2004 Honda Element EX.

 

 

 

I arrived at the Mining Museum grounds and saw all sorts of vendors and builders driving in their tiny houses and sprucing them up for the coming attendees. Tiny houses seem to be getting larger. When I got my trailer two years ago, 18 feet was considered large. As I toured these, I discovered most of them were 24 feet or larger and 13,000 lbs. plus. And yet, so beautiful, gorgeous, well planned and designed and such great ideas and sustainable concepts.

THJ

After touring some of the tiny houses privately, I set out for the campground in time to set up my tent and get over to the Jamboree VIP party to meet the tiny house luminaries whose blogs I have followed and commented upon, whose books and DVD’s I’ve read and recommended to my workshop attendees and whose tiny house journeys I have admired for years. I was elated to put faces and such warm hugs and conversations to the names and images I have enjoyed in the online tiny house tribe.

THJ.3

Best of all, I got to see my mentor and tiny house rock star, Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, speak on the 1st day. His speech was so awesome; inspiring, humorous, informative – he set the tone for the entire weekend of magical happenings and connections.

Deek

As I returned to the campground every evening, I met folks from Europe, Canada and all over the USA. There were tiny DIY micro-shelters built on one axel trailer rigs as well as two large tiny houses on double axle trailers. A little camping tiny house tribe of our own with wild fire-dancing parties at night and discussions into the wee hours of the morning.

DblRainbowAs I looked up at the twinkling stars in the deep blue Colorado sky, my heart raced with the excitement of the coming weekend’s National Tiny House Jamboree speaker’s, activities and 40+ tiny houses to tour and experience.

I spoke on Sunday to a crowd of tiny house enthusiast’s about my tiny house journey. I also announced my new board game “Tinyunopoly” which will fund tiny house construction for the homeless. Here’s a picture of the 1st draft I made while waiting for my car repairs. (I was a financial consultant to the Parker Family Trust for many years). Money is not in this game, only barter shares and the gift economy. The properties are tiny house villages, the “railroads” are renewables: wind/water harvesting, solar, biomass/ethanol and people powered. No “going to jail” in this version, instead you go to sustainability pillar camp. And the four piles of cards you draw from require all kinds of fun interactions between yourself and your fellow players involving tiny house tips and tricks and sustainable concepts.

If you would like to contribute feedback and help finish the design of the game, just let me know at taospirit@mac.com.

Tinunopoly

By the end of this incredible weekend those tiny house enthusiasts’ eyes were full of twinkling tiny house stars!

And on my way back to New England I saw my first tiny houses on the road!

THJ.2

I hope they’ll have Tiny House Jamboree 2 next year!

The HOW:

If micro-housing or the tiny house movement interests you, consider:

  1. Joining a local tiny house meet-up group and networking with your tiny house enthusiast neighbors.
  2. Attend a tiny house workshop near you. Get some hands-on experience and network with other tiny house enthusiasts.
  3. Next time you take a trip or vacation, consider renting a different tiny house every few days and learn what features you like and/or dislike.

 

The DEEP DIVE:

See the Tiny House Jamboree Drone video encapsulating the event in 50 seconds here.

Deek’s upcoming Tiny House Summer Camp here.

 

 

Join us at the Vermont Tiny House Summer Camp!

Join us at the Vermont Tiny House Summer Camp 3! (Week #33)

Our Founder, Vera Struck, will be speaking at Derek “Deek” Diedricksen’s Vermont Tiny House Summer Camp, along with other tiny house luminaries!

She had the opportunity to be a speaker at the Tiny House Jamboree which exceeded its expected attendance of 10,000 – it went viral and 40,000 tiny house enthusiasts came.
Deek’s speech was inspiring and amazing – he set the tone for this unique tiny house community event. He is included in my book, “Living the Sustainable Tiny Life”, just published, and available online here
So, mark your calendars for the weekend of September 18-20, 2015. Register as soon as you can, they get sold out quickly! For link to register, click here
tiny house summer camp 3 final flyer smaller