Non-housing Alternatives

Movie poster for Swiss Family Robinson

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.

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Take the Redneck Granola Personality Test

check list

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.)

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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).

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