Redneck Sustainability: Delay Laundry Day

And you guys thought I was weird for wearing the same pair of hemp pants for a year while washing them once a week. As it turns out, I could have worn them much longer and helped save the human race from utter destruction by never laundering them a single time! (Okay, maybe after getting shat upon by my son a washing would have been appropriate.)

University of Alberta student, Josh Le, wore his pair of raw denim jeans for 15 months before washing them. In a university lab bacteria samples were taken before and after washing as well as after wearing the pants for just a couple of weeks. [Read more...]

The Redneck Granola’s Code for Living

Zombieland Movie PosterIn today’s amoral world it seems the majority of folk wander the surface of the earth as if trying for the part of an extra on the Zombieland set. Unsure of how to deal with or construct nuanced moral values, we instead bounce around life aimlessly while mumbling, “brains, must have brains.”

But trust me, eating brains don’t do a damn bit of good in making a lad smarter. So in response to the sparkling void of moral verisimilitude I’ve prepared my Redneck Granola’s Code for Living–three rock solid rules you can take to the bank. No complicated philosophies or insincere scams intent on making jerks likable or transforming chumps into champs. Just wisdom too simple to be comprehended by most.

(You have to think in a lower wavelength. Like the spectrum of light invisible to the naked eye, there’s a spectrum of thought unthinkable to those with too much brains. Just whack yourself in the head a couple of times with a bottle and keep reading.) [Read more...]

5 Ways to Go Granola Secretly

Treehuggers InternationalIf you’ve thought about hugging a tree, but were too worried about getting pitch on your Dickies (or explaining the stains to your family) then maybe you can start with hugging something other than a pine tree. (Sheez, slow down Rambo. You can’t just hug a pine without working up to it!) Seriously, until you feel comfortable coming out of the composting closet, there are ways to go granola on the sly. Here are the Green Porch’s top five:

  • 1.) This year for lent, instead of giving up something stupid like coffee or chocolate, give up bathing. [Read more...]

Non-housing Alternatives

Movie poster for Swiss Family RobinsonWhat could be better than to live in a sustainable dwelling that, as far as the government is concerned, isn’t even a dwelling? You’d have no taxes and very little zoning codes to deal with, while at the same time treading lightly on this whimsical little sphere we call Earth. “Wow, RedneckGranola, how can such a thing be possible? Since you are so often full of organic manure, I just can’t believe you.”

Yes, yes. I know. I too was once skeptical, as yourselves, until I realized all you have to do is be considered a nutjob and such a storybook living can be within your grasp. I’m not talking about living out of a Vanagon or VW bus (I said nutjob, not hippy freak!). For starters, I’m talking about tree houses. [Read more...]

Take the Redneck Granola Personality Test

check listThe first thing you need to do to live a happy life is figure out where you fall on the redneck-granola-personality-test. Trust me, this isn’t as simple of a process as it sounds. As the original redneckgranola it has taken me over thirty years of my life to place myself accurately on the RGS (after making it up just now).

Since I realize you, kind reader, have less time for such matters, I have refined the process down to 5 questions of pure life-coaching genius. Today I offer the first four questions to you for free. The fifth question can also be yours for the low, low cost of reading the first four. Once you have read and answered these five questions truthfully all of your life’s decision making will flow smoothly from your RGS ranking. (Answer questions and then score yourself after.) [Read more...]

Let the Faucet Drip

Urine in toilet by David Shankbone

I lay awake at night as the temperature drops. With each drip of the faucet I feel hours of conservation go down the drain. It’s as if the granola me never happened. I’ve been erased.”

Attending university in Montana, a fellow dorm mate reamed me for leaving the faucet running while shaving. The horror! To my defense, I grew up in Texas and had never heard of concepts such as conservation and recycling. RE-cycling sounded like some old fogies’ biker club.

But the habit was easy enough to develop. I had learned how to turn the water on by my freshman year, how much harder could it be to turn it on and off a couple dozen times in quick succession while rinsing my razor? I even experimented (hey, it was college) with dipping my razor in standing water to test whether it used less water. (It turns out the water seeps around the drain plug.) Hell, I’ve become a “yellow, let it mellow” guy in the years since college (and not just in public restrooms).
[Read more...]

What’s a Granola?

Granola ad circa 1893

Granola ad circa 1893

The legend has long stood that an aging hippie relic, the last of his kind, found solace in the arms of a sister of the Poor Clares living alone in a forgotten convent deep in the mountains of Saskatchewan. After teaching each other their dying arts and a long winter of tender lovemaking, the forbidden union produced the world’s first granola.

I am that granola.

No, just kidding. But I think the truth is not far off. (No, I’m not Canadian.) People often ask me (at least I like to think they would if anyone ever talked to me), “David, what’s a Granola?” It’s a serious question, so I would like to take a moment to give it a serious answer. [Read more...]