Lately I've been asked a lot about my influences - what was it that made me embark on this reduced footprint lifestyle?
My quick answer is my most recent influence. The amazing bloggers I discovered in the last year and a half who are doing it and showing everyone that it is possible. First I found No Impact Man. Then I learned about the Riot for Austerity and found Sharon, Crunchy and Greenpa. All of whom have become my sustainability heroes.
For those who have some time, I might talk about my life changing 6 month trip to India in my mid-twenties where I learned that it's possible to live with a lot less (and actually be happier) and also of the extreme poverty and food scarcity that is found in developing countries and often worsened by the western world.
And if we are sitting down, having some tea and a good chat I'll probably also tell you that I was lucky to grow up in a house where composting, line drying clothes and food made from scratch was the norm. Although I wasn't such a fan at the time. "Why can't we use fabric softener and eat cheese whiz like everyone else??!?!?!" and "oh my god mum if you pick recycling out of the garbage in front of my friends again I WILL JUST DIE!" and the like were frequently heard around my house during the teenage years.
But an influence I never mention because it seems so subtle is a tv show called "The Good Life" (or Good Neighbors in N. America). It was a British show made in the 70s. The premise is that the main character Tom Good decides after his 40th b'day to quit his job and live off the grid. He and his wife are soon making their electricity from pig poop, bartering for goods with eggs and homemade wine and turning their suburban garden into a hobby farm (complete with chickens, pigs and a goat). Hijinks of course ensue with the next door (well-to-do) neighbours who aren't always thrilled about suddenly living next to a working farm.
What I think stayed with me all these years is not just that it is possible to live in a completely sustainable way, but how unbelievably happy Tom and Barbara are compared to their next door neighbours the Leadbetters. I think I've longed for a life like the Good's since that time (even if for a number of years that was locked in my subconscious).
And so here for your viewing pleasure is a clip of the show. This is the last part of the first episode where Tom is convincing Barbara that they should do it. Please watch it. It's great. And LW - check out the glasses.:)