Sustainable Living Experiment
in negative waste and free energy
For 6 months in 2022 I lived with no electricity in a rural village and here’s the lessons learned refurbishing a 100-year-old stone property for her centenary.
TLDR old school stove, dry toilet on sawdust, repairing items, group travel and simple village life, a sustainability life experiment in negative waste and free energy
A custom-built dry toilet using sawdust works a treat for me. A ton of water pollution is caused by sewage, most micronutrients in one’s poo dissolve and pollute water instead of nourishing the soil. To contrast that every morning I watch a woodpecker taking care of my trees while drinking coffee on the toilet scrolling LinkedIn
With longer days when it gets dark, I go to sleep, when sun rises, I wake up. This saves a ton of electricity and increases my happiness
Being creative with energy sources works for me. Timbers and planks from collapsed wooden shed served my energy needs for cooking and warmth most of the year, old chipboard furniture too, when I run out and got plugged to the grid I switched to wood collected from locally managed woodland and green power from the grid generated by local hydro+nuclear mix. Biomass heating byproducts are conveniently sawdust and ashes for the toilet.
Recycling cannot beat incentivised return scheme. Drink cans and plastic bottles became returnable in Slovakia’s shops using a 15 cents a piece deposit system earlier this year and this played to my cards well
Decent wood burning stove (double burn stove system) discards rest of the packaging such as cardboard (and once high temperature is established even PP) while heating the home, my water and cooking, every once in a while I walk my dog and any trash I find I bring home and burn it 🔥 with no trace
Repairing and fixing things counts. Most to all my clothes I run past a talented local seamstress, who prevented those from going to landfill. Local company fixed my roof containing asbestos in catastrophic condition sealing it for a long time to come, saving a lot of money on new material and pollution. Most other building labour was carried out by myself and neighbours at low cost. Every day I had a local man bringing amazing trash finds that we repaired. From oil paintings and electronics to axes, books and antiques. The stuff people throw out when a simple issue breaks it shows how a little repair skills prevents a ton of valuables going to landfill
Group travel kills travel costs. I am a keen hiker and mountain man, slow travel adventurer. In the past my self funded trips costed thousands in fuel, hotels, food, equipment and mini bar raiding GFs. I knew massive savings can be made with group travel, I met a mountain guide and joined his group, where we do just this, no regular GF needed either. Organised adventure group helped me to travel more, slower and deeper than before at a fraction of the cost exploring the Alps on skis and with climbing gear, Iceland and Mediterranean too on week long trips on foot
Conservative prudent investment. I made no investments into digital assets except from work into keeping mine fresh and on autopilot and poured all my money in my property that I hope can at some point generate cash as accommodation for adventurers who want local tough nature, love brown bears, the healing hot springs nearby and want to learn from my skills
To sum up, I think I did well and no no bunny will sing me “you had plenty money 2022, you let all the women make a fool of you… why don’t you do right like some other men do?