Monthly Archives: September 2010

Bicycling Culture

With the last Sunday Parkways of the summer coming up, I’d like to share about bicycle culture. Bicycling is a way of living with a history, traditions, and trends that signal social change is shifting gears toward sustainability. 


There’s a strong biking community in Portland, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance now has over 5,000 members! When I first moved to Portland in 2000 I bike commuted from Ladd’s Addition to North Portland and would see a handful of bikes daily, now 2,745 commuters now ride along N Williams and Sunset magazine even profiled this hip place to bike!  


Bicycles had a thriving history before car culture took over. I love this article about packing 6,000 bicyclists on a ferry from Seattle-to-Bainbridge, which also talks about the history of bikes in the NW.


Having lived in Denmark, I know that Portland has only scratched the surface of the depth of bicycling culture. Bicycling is like second nature in Denmark. Like most Danes, I had two bicycles, one at each train station. My headmaster rode to school in a suit, stilettos are not uncommon either. Girls with unbelievably short skirts pedal. One of my best vacations ever was spent biking around the fairytale island of Bornholm. Danes aren’t selfish though, and are ready to share their love of cycling worldwide through their Cycling Embassy. If two wheels make you gush, check out Copenhagenize – “for the love of bicycle culture.”


Lastly, I’d like to share about a fun new bicycle book called Joyride, it’s getting some great press and hope to read it before too long.


Does your family bicycle for fun? 
Do you bike-commute to save money and reduce your footprint?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Midweek Inspiration

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.  In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious grow up through the common.  This is to be my symphony.”
– William Henry Channing

This quote really resonates with me. While we set financial goals, an underlying goal is to always feel content and grateful for the abundance we have today. Financial freedom is really the key, being able to live a life without burdens or boundaries.


What simple action can you do today to help create financial freedom?
What’s your symphony?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Green Housing

We’re not in the market for housing, and are just doing our best to keep our 1904 Victorian sustainable in this century. But I want to plug the upcoming Build It Green Home Tour here in Portland, even if you just check out the info virtual there is plenty of inspiration. I’ll be there, will report back on any new insights.


While I’m on the topic, what do you think of modular housing and the “house of the future“? Could you see your family thriving in a modern home?


Personally I really like the idea of flexibility over time, but I’m not sure how they would look plunked in the middle of existing neighborhoods. Perhaps the solution for the suburb of the future, but I thought the suburbs and malls were on their way out. 


On a related note, we just got our first power bill since our new green refrigerator and I’m looking forward to sharing more once we have a few to compare, there is a slight savings!


Would you pay more for an energy/water efficient house? 
Would you live in a green modular?


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.

Shopping Spud

As I’ve mentioned before, Spud has become part of my weekend ritual. I enjoy it so much more than packing two kids in the car and blowing at least twice as much at our local Whole Paycheck. We literally can buy all of our produce, plus milk and eggs for $33 to get free week delivery. The best part is that you can quickly set preferences and weekly/monthly orders.


Yet, I’m surprised at how many people I’ve surprised by how many people I’ve chatted with who haven’t heard of Spud. So I’m compelled share more about them. They also have a new online video giving a demo of how easy it is to order, see below. I would add a few more tips though to help make the most of your order:

  • Create a “Standing Order,” which will allow you to order things like butter monthly, eggs bi-weekly, and milk weekly. It means you never forget the essentials!
  • The bonus of a standing order is that they’ll give you a 5% discount on lots of items.
  • Create personal shopping lists for different needs – I have lists for my pantry, dinners, and everyday foods. It’s super easy to edit and order.
  • Always remember to update your order by 9 AM the day before delivery, or two days for fresh breads and meat orders.
  • Again, always remember the Submit Order button.

If you want to play around a while, there’s more fun too:

  • Check out the kid-friendly meals under the recipes tab.
  • Keep track of your food’s carbon footprint. 
  • Follow Spud by Facebook/Twitter for more fun stuff.

If you want to give Spud a try and get $25 free after your first 4 deliveries, use my promo code: CR5-147718.





Tell me about your Spud experience!


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Sustainable Family Finances
The story of a family creating an abundant and sustainable life.