Sustainability... it's all about life-style choices... 

"The best way to predict your future... is to create it." (author unknown)

Check out: Sail-Share

Reduce the environmental footprint of owning a yacht by 83%...

It's hard to find a more effective a way to connect with the natural environment than sailing. Sailing may well be the ultimate way to be reminded of the interconnection between ourselves and this planet...  Alas all this comes with an environmental cost. At Sail-Share we are not blind to the environmental footprint that is left by the production of a fiberglass hull, a lead keel, a wooden interior, not to mention the diesel engine and all it contains...

By joining the Sail-Share program you are reducing these environmental impacts by up to 83%. As a member in our program you share your footprint with four other members. Your sailing experience is enhanced and your mind is put at ease by knowing that you have truly done your best to reduce the environmental impacts of your sailing adventures!

"$2-Buck Market" Neighbourhood Produce Swap!...

For neighbours who have gardens to swap their surplus produce for produce that their neighbours have! Produce is put into a "package" that would be "worth" $2. "I'll swap you this bag of plums for that bag of tomatoes." Organic produce is preferred. Neighbours who aren't growing gardens yet can bring toonies and purchase produce from their neighbours.  The $2-Buck Market concept lends itself wonderfully to community participation and urban farming. Maybe our success will encourage other neighbourhoods to start up their own! We hope it also encourages people to eat healthier and support locally grown food!

Check us out and LIKE us on Facebook too!:

Check out: $2-Buck Market!

While building TBLHIS, this sustainability page was a work in progress
as our own checklist to add to of the things we were doing
to live more simply and sustainably...


~ Live simply & beautifully and healthily (for oneself and the environment):

- do what we love and love what we do

- recreation... "re-creation"... we create our own fun and enjoyment at home and in our neighbourhood -  walks, hikes, bike-rides, movie nights, read, write, take up a new hobby...

- turn off the television and tune in to others

reduce - consume less - stop buying things we don't need

- reuse - what we have for other purposes until it is worn out

- recycle - proper facilities for material recycling. /

- recycle - if in need of something, check thrift stores, garage sales to buy second hand items

- decrease the demand for energy

- support green power consumption

- reduce power usage - we put a timer on our hot water heater to come on for 2 hours in the early morning hours (non-peak time), turn lights off, line-dry laundry,

 - buy LED lighting

- we went car free in 2001, ride bikes, take the bus, rent car or car-share (neighbour's) - see links below

- bake and cook ourselves

- eat vegetarian

- compost

- buy in bulk (reduce packaging/garbage)

- shop and buy local - see links below

- grow some food - see links below

- share food with others - check out our $2-Buck Market, Neighbourhood Produce Swap:

- design and build our own house

- ...
OUR House design

~ Live simply and beautifully:

small footprint

- simple design home: for a couple or parents with one child, or couple taking care of aging parent

- guestroom: for family and friends visiting or for B&B or to take care of aging parent or for home office

- plan "living" rooms - all rooms are used/lived in... including outside areas

- create flow from inside to outside - size of windows, spatial layering of windows and doors to view outside

- create long sight lines

- build a front porch - another living space to view and enjoy your neighbourhood from

- back patio - another living space is created - part is under cover for those rainy days or to be cool in summer, part is exposed to full sunlight for warmth in the fall/winter/spring

- we plumbed the hot water heater to be solar ready before the code called for it

- ...
~ Sustainable building materials:

- overbuild - "building to code" is the bare minimum - build with pride and build to last

- we plumbed the hot water heater to be solar ready before the code called for it

- reclaim cedar shingles from old house and use under cover on new house

- reclaim fir flooring from old house - the 3/4" T&G fir flooring will be used on our stair treads

Our flooring is LEED certified: StoneCraft flooring:
"StoneCraft is a revolutionary new resurfacing technology suitable for interior or exterior applications. A unique combination of plastics and concrete, StoneCraft offers unsurpassed durability, chemical resistance, and a new level of freedom in design. This new concept in flooring allows the consumer to decide the colour, design, and texture without the constraints of traditional pre-cast products. StoneCraft may be used on floors, walls, and ceilings, and may be applied over a variety of different substrates. Suitable substrates for flooring applications include: concrete, plywood, and most types of tile."

Our roof decking is FSC certified; Forest Stewardship Council
"FSC is an international certification and labeling system that guarantees that the forest products you purchase come from responsibly managed forests and verified recycled sources... FSC certification is a voluntary and market-based mechanism for ensuring that our forests are healthy. Consumer demand for FSC-certified products encourages forest managers and owners to become FSC-certified. Independent third-party auditors conduct all FSC certification audits."

Here is an informative 8 minute video from the FSC Canada website:

"The FSC Story

Do you care about forests? Your choice makes a difference.

Forests provide the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Forests also provide us with the wood and paper products we use every day.

If you care about our forests, follow Franke James (author, and artist) on her journey into the forest as she explores what each and every one of us can do to ensure that we have healthy forests and strong communities for generations to come.

Make a choice. Show you care. Share this story."


 OUR property design:

- excavated site ourselves and kept all the topsoil and clay and trees and plants

- create a plot plan to build towards - work in progress

- plant native plant landscaping

- plant vegetable gardens

- plant fruit trees

- reclaim lumber from old house (that can't be used again in other projects) to use for landscaping, raised beds, garden stakes or chip for use as mulch or pathway cover

- use sawdust in garden as mulch (Thomas recalled a sign in the mill shop of Steven's Building Supply in Sidney Nova Scotia that read, "The only scrap in this workshop is sawdust"!   I got quite a kick out of that - as he did obviously as he still remembers it from 35 years ago!  We have really tried to reduce the scrap on this project... and it made us proud to think that we are even using our sawdust!

Here is some good information from Cornell University, Department of Horticulture: "
Sawdust is often recommended as a mulch for blueberries, rhododendrons, and other acid-loving evergreens. Sawdust mulch has an acidifying effect on the soil as it decomposes, and like wood chips, it can rob the soil of nitrogen. In addition, sawdust layers are characterized by severe compaction and decomposition over a single growing season. Thus, it is necessary to fluff up and renew sawdust mulch each spring."

- use of old wood stove in workshop - run as efficiently as possible and use ash in garden where soils are acid and low in potassium

- ...

Other thoughts and links...
 "How to build a house (together) and stay together": Many people have asked how many fights we've had - the answer, "none"... we've worked together in joy and love because we have guiding principles for our relationship, thus they carry over in to our building project.
The Carpenter StoryI received this a long time ago via email and thought it very inspiring and therefore saved it.  I came across it a while back and of course felt it was very fitting in our situation, literally... and figuratively...  "You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, erect a wall. "Life is a do-it-yourself project," someone has said. Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow. Build wisely!" ~Author Unknown~

"TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, we strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. We publish an up to the minute blog, weekly and daily newsletters, twice-monthly radio interviews, and regularly updated Twitter and Facebook pages." (quote from their site)

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. The best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 700 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted. (quote from the site)

Home is a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. "The documentary chronicles the present day state of the Earth, its climate and how we as the dominant species have long-term repercussions on its future. A theme expressed throughout the documentary is that of linkage—how all organisms and the Earth are linked in a "delicate but crucial" natural balance with each other, and how no organism can be self-sufficient. Yann Arthus-Bertrand emphasized on a TED talk that the movie has no copyright: "This film have [sic] no copyright. On the fifth of June, the environmental day, everyone can download the movie on Internet... It is available for schools, cities, NGOs and you. " (quote from the site)

"In 1989, David Suzuki's award-winning radio series, 'It's a Matter of Survival' sounded an alarm of where the planet was heading. Over 17,000 of his shocked fans sent him letters asking for ways to avert the catastrophe. A group of people urged David Suzuki and Tara Cullis to create a new, solutions-based organization. That November, they hosted a gathering with a dozen thinkers and activists on Pender Island, B.C. By the end of the meeting, something significant was afoot. And after many planning meetings, on Sept. 14, 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation was incorporated." (quote from the site)

Earth Future is the website for Guy Dauncey's projects and writings. "Earth Future is provided as a free public service to Planet Earth, to encourage greater love, sustainability and hope for our future.  Guy Dauncey is a speaker, author, and organizer who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future, and to translate that vision into action." (quote from the site)

Share Organics -

"Bringing fresh produce from local farms to your table! ...  Delivering organic food to your door since 1997... Share Organics is committed to providing our community with a convenient way of receiving reasonably priced, high quality, organic products; and to support and promote local growers in sustainable organic agriculture." (quote from the site)

"In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Food, Inc. reveals surprising - and often shocking truths - about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here." (quote from the site)

"The purpose of the GVCC is to promote, and improve conditions for cycling in Greater Victoria by:
Improving cycling education; Facilitating communication between cyclists, government, and other community groups; Improving facilities for bicycle use; Improving the legal climate for cyclists; Encouraging more people to ride bicycles more often; and Developing a cycling information base." (quote from the site)

Rules of the Road:
"BikeSense has been written and reviewed by professional cycling skills instructors, cycling advocacy organizations, bicycle trained police officers and provincial authorities responsible for making and interpreting our traffic laws. We'd like to thank all of those who participated in the review and production of the manual. We hope this manual will help make our roads safer for all road-users alike." (quote from the site)

"Mission: The VCSC offers high quality and reliable car sharing services for residents, businesses and organizations throughout Greater Victoria. Through a cooperative model, the organization offers a practical, economical, and convenient alternative to private car ownership. With innovative partnerships, member involvement, and sustainable community development, the organization will achieve its vision." (quote from the site)


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kandf sustainable lifestyle strategies inc.
contact us at  -  Sidney, BC, Canada  -  phone 250-656-8646  -  © 2006-2014