Sustainable Living Blogs Linky Lists

Sustainable Suburbia Sustainable Living Blogs List screenshotI’ve been playing with the idea of setting up a Linky List of Sustainable/Simple/Slow/Self-Sufficient Living Blogs* for a while now. I haven’t seen such a list anywhere (although I’ve found short lists here and there that individual bloggers have published). I think the idea of community is essential to the sustainable lifestyle, and while ideally this will include some ‘in real life’ community, online community can be of huge value also.

It’s taken me a while to figure out just how to structure this list. What I’ve done, is created a bunch of Linky Lists with different specialities, all under this one Sustainability theme. SOLE food, homesteading, crafty hand made and so on. I thought about doing it by country or limiting it to Australia (I would also love a list of Australian blogs – maybe I should add an extra one for Southern Hemisphere?), but there are too many awesome Northern Hemisphere blogs to exclude them. I also thought about making it slightly more complicated, where each blog gets its own page which can be categorised as many times as you like (eg, Australian, SOLE food, urban homesteader, sustainable parenting), but that seemed too complicated and much work for me.

So Linky Lists it is.I have added a few blogs already, but if you find yourself there and a) you don’t want to be there or think you should be categorised differently (plenty of blogs will fit into more than one category), or b) you want a different picture or title, then please just add yourself they way you’d like to be, and send me a message and I’ll delete the original listing.

Please do go add yourself if you think your blog could fit into any of the categories below. I would also love it if you would promote (or at least mention) this on your own blog, to get the ball rolling!

Instructions

  • Please choose no more than two, or at most three categories, that you fit most comfortably under (one is also fine). You should only choose three, if you fit comfortably under one of the general topics (urban or out-of-town homesteaders or parent-blogger), but also focus closely on more than one of the specific categories. Some bloggers may fit a little into all these categories, but many have a particular focus to their blog – those are the ones that should be in those particular categories.
  • Type your name (if you like) and blog title into the title field – if you list yourself twice, please use the same title both times.
  • Join the Sustainable Blogs linky listsIn the usual Linky List ettiquete, please create a link back to the list page or the Sustainable Suburbia home page from your blog. Thanks. Feel free to use the button to the right, or just use a text link.
  • I’d also love it if you would promote this list in a post, so we can get as many bloggers represented here as possible.
  • If you have any suggestions for how this could work better, do please get in touch.

Categories

If you have a website that isn’t really a blog, but is a resource that you think should be here, add it under the last list. If there are a lot of them, I’ll start a separate ‘resources’ Linky List.

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*I could add in eco-friendly or green lifestyle, but they don’t start with S now do they?

Liam is teaching me to crochet a baby blanket!

Liam is teaching me to crochet. They have this lovely 12 ply wool at school which I have bought several skeins of in different colours (okay, two different purples, two blues and a cream – I’m nothing if not predictable in my colour choices). They use this same wool in school for all their projects, starting with twisties, finger knitting and French knitting in kindy.

Liam's knitted satchkin patchkin dollThe big wool project of first grade was knitting a satchkin patchkin doll (all in knit), second class was a rainbow hat, using rib and then stocking stitch, and now in third class they are learning to crochet, which Liam has shown a much greater affinity for than knitting. First they made hacky sacks, and a bag to keep them in, and now they’ve moved on to making either a cushion cover or, if they want to, a blanket.

Liam’s chosen to go for the blanket, and that’s what he’s teaching me. It starts basically like a granny square, but then instead of finishing at a small square, then making more squares, then crocheting them altogether, you just keep going around the outside of the square, adding more rows of trebles, until it’s big enough.

Of course, I stuffed mine up already, putting two sets of three trebles somewhere there was only supposed to be one set, but I didn’t notice until I was half way around the next colour so… I just left it. It adds character you know. 🙂 Plus I think I also stuffed up something in the beginning, though I’m not sure what. I’m knitting this to be a gift for a friend’s baby though, so at some point I’ll have to decide if I’ve learned enough that I should finish this one off (maybe it could be a long promised blanket for Mikaela’s teddy), and start again, or if I should just keep going with this one.

I imagine it will depend on just how long it seems to be taking me and how much better I seem to be getting. Liam’s definitely looks better than mine so far. Mine seems a bit lopsided – I think I am mixing up the tension too much and mostly doing it too tight. I don’t think it really matters though, when all is said and done. I think it will still work out and hopefully you’ll have to look close to see that it’s got rather a lot of imperfections!

Here they are at the moment. Liam’s is the bigger one!

two growing granny squares, one in blue and cream, one in red, orange and yellow

Liam's making a rainbow blanket - red and orange is just in the process of giving way to yellow and green, then will come blue and I guess indigo. Mine's just going to be blue and cream, but there are two different blues that I will use. The blue I've started with is actually not as bright as it looks here - that was the flash!

Woohoo! We are now net producers of Electricity!

Finally, only about 2 months after the solar panels were installed on the roof, and 6+ months after we signed the contract, our solar power system is turned on! It’s an 8 kW system, so we will be producing far more than we use. We’re still paying for 100% green energy (to make sure we are effectively buying back our own electricity and not not some from a coal fired power plant!), but we will still make quite a bit of money back, which will then help us pay off the system.

2 rows of solar panels on a tiled roof

Of course, we are also still using gas for heating and our instant gas hot water, which is not a renewable resource, so over time we’ll want to convert more of that over to the solar – well, the heating anyway. Eventually we might get solar hot water, but we certainly won’t be switching back to an electric water heater before then! But for the moment, we need to continue to work on just reducing our electricity consumption so as to pay off these panels as quickly as we can, via the feed-in tarrif.

And of course, even after that, the question remains as to whether we should switch from gas heating to electricity to use “our” solar power, or whether it’s a better option to feed that back into the grid to replace coal based electricity for other people (which is, after all, worse that using gas, though neither is renewable and both do have some level of emissions).

We also got an Effergy wireless electricity monitor with the system (Armada threw it in for free as we are getting such a big system), which will help us easily monitor our electricity usage from moment to moment and day to day. I’m hoping being able to see that – and explaining to the kids how it works too – will help us manage more effective behaviour change as a family, to cut our electricity use right down.

But in the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy watching the metre tick over, showing how muchmore  electricity we are producing than using. That’s going to be fun.

 

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