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What is a “great life”?

A great life is one lived with intention and care. Living a “sustainable” life certainly means taking care of your environment – but it also means taking care of yourself, your finances, and the people around you. A person cannot be sustained, physically or mentally, without a life of health, happiness, and balance. Nor can one be sustained without a decent income and healthy spending habits. Additionally, a community cannot be sustained without a foundation of trust, respect, and care.

A life that focuses on personal, community, and environmental growth will reap rewards in so many ways. Above all else, it will be a life filled with meaning and purpose – the secret to fulfillment. It will be not just a good, but a great life. Living sustainably isn’t simple (despite what you may think). But it is rewarding. As a millennial, with far too much education, I have a hard time living in this ailing world in ways that I consciously know are harming it. With a degree in the environmental sciences I hope to make a career out of improving the earth for the future, but I also hope to make a life out of those values as well. This blog is a written record of my experiences doing so.

I’m learning a lot during this blogging “journey” about how to live a full, sustainable, great life, and save money doing it – so I’ve compiled a list of tips and how to’s to help you do the same (also to help organize my many overwhelming posts into a few manageable categories). This list will change with every new post so make sure to check back and stay up to date!

best, e.


The Keys To a Great Life:

1. Get Outside.
Nature is a beautiful, healing thing. Whether it’s for exercise, recreation, or relaxation, get your butt outside. Nourish your love for the world around you.

2. Eat Food.
Most of the food produced today isn’t really food at all. Healthy food is the key to feeling good, and when you feel good, the rest of your life is instantly better.

  • Learn about what you’re eating, buy food as local as you can get it.
  • If you can’t afford the farmer’s market then try volunteering at a small local farm for food (like this one).

3. Take Time.
Take time out of your day to make each day special. Whether you use it to relax, spend with people you love, or do the things you “never have time” for, make sure you spend a little time each day doing something positive for yourself.

  • Reflect. Take time to consider your life, what’s going on around you and how it’s affecting you. Read, exercise, hike, write, meditate, fish – whatever your thing is, do it, often.
  • Socialize. Take the time to build you community. Spending time with friends, family, and neighbors keeps you connected to the world around you. Take it from an ecovillage that knows.

4. Pay Attention.
A great life is one lived with intention. Make the effort to understand your surroundings. The more you know about the impacts of your actions, the more change you can make, and the better you will feel about yourself and your way of life.

  • Read (my booklist!). Learn about the world you live in.
  • Conserve. Know how much energy you are using and use that knowledge to make changes. It will save you money and you’ll lose far less than you think. Ideas for areas of conservation:
  • Don’t accumulate “stuff.” Save money by avoiding consumerism. When you do buy things, make educated purchases. Here’s a few things I’ve learned from Craigslist.
  • Budget. Track your expenses and your income. Know what you’re spending money on, be aware of your spending habits. This is the best way to cut down unnecessary spending and have more money for the necessary things (How I budget).
Lessons Learned for Other 20-Somethings:
  • Life doesn’t end after college. That’s just the beginning. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for perfection after commencement, that would be boring anyways (Read More).
  • Wanderlust is to be expected when you’re 20, and it’s not a bad thing. But don’t stress out about lost chances and lost time – you have your whole life, the adventure doesn’t end at 30 (Read Post).
  • Just because it’s cute and idealistic, doesn’t mean it’s practical. Take it from the teardrop trailer… and my sewing machine… (Read Post).
  • Money doesn’t equal happiness – spend your time finding purpose and meaning, that’s far more effective (Read More).
  • Believe in humanity, believe everything will work out. Then, make it happen, don’t sit by, and don’t give up. Push through the hard times. It will all pay off (Read More).
  • Do things that scare the shit out of you, because that’s what life’s for, right? A life without fright would be a boring one. Just don’t mistake stupidity for bravery (Read More).

2 Comments

  1. Diane Fournier

    Wow Emily. Last night at that fun night, sports awards, the millionth one I’ve attended!, your mother came up to me and handed me your blog site. Loved the “I’m a tortoise, not a hare”…remember who came out ahead in that one!

    It seems you are doing something you love. I have to say, not something I expected from you, but then again, I always felt there was a adventurous person within. It is great to hear that you do run. I started because of competitive cross-country skiing, but later I was asked why I ran after ending that part of my life. I told the reporter that it was something that I could give to myself every day, and have been able to do so for almost 50 years.

    Will keep checking on your adventure. You go Emily!

    • Hey coach! Good to hear from you, thanks for reading. My problem as a kid was always my hatred/fear of competition, once I got over that I started pushing my limits and long distance running and biking are a huge part of my life now. Thanks for introducing me to it :)

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