Category Archives: inspiration

Ode to Green Dads

I guess the cards must have been stacked in my favor from the beginning, because I was raised by two “Dads.” Actually my Mom married my “Dad” when my Twin Sis and I were two and we’ve always had a friendship with our biological father. As it turns out, they both fit the “Green Dad” title in their own unique way. 


My father was a tree planter for 25 years, and planted thousands of trees across Oregon and Washington. He was actually the President of Hoedads Cooperative for several terms. During the summers, he often took contracts to pick cones needed to grow the tree seedlings. He scaled giant fir and pine trees from Kodiak Island to the Redwoods. My father didn’t get rich from his career as a tree planter, but he offset his own carbon footprint before society realized the need.


My Dad was a car mechanic, and has always had a passion thinking about how to fix things. His van has over 300,000 miles on it and he kept my parents washer running for thirty years! The Berenstain Bears are smart enough to know that “everything needs a fixer,” but sadly in our throw-away consumer society fixing things is almost a lost art. My Dad reminisces fondly about when my family lived off the grid, with spring fed water and a root cellar to preserve food for the year. They lived off the land and not much else, but they were happy.


Both my “Dads” are innately frugal and eco-conscious, no wonder I’m on this path. Thanks!


Do you have a “Green Dad” who inspires you?


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

All in This Together



I’m home sick today, so I’m sharing this little pick-me-up. This song always make me smile, and the lyrics are a good reminder of how we are all connected:





What helps remind you that “we’re all in this together”?


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

Pop Culture

For better and worse, pop culture is part of American society. Culture unconsciously shapes what we value, and how we feel about the environment and each other. In part pop culture has created a demand for “bling” and a desire for materialism. Yes, I grew up when Madonna’s Material Girl was on the lips of every girl.


So, without getting too heavy on you, I want to share a fun little video of a Ben Lee song called I Love Pop Culture. The lyrics include references to global warming and consumption, and yet it is so upbeat that you can hardly help but smile. I couldn’t get a grin off my face the first time I heard it. I hope this makes your day. 🙂





Do you think pop culture can spur sustainability?


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

Living in Bliss

I bought the The Geography of Bliss at Powell’s for my nomadic Twin Sis, conveniently for our birthday. She was kind enough to pass it along to me, and I finally finished reading it this past weekend.


The author, NPR correspondent Eric Weiner, has a humorous writing style even though it’s research-based non-fiction. Plus, happiness research isn’t exactly the toughest subject to delve into.


Without going into a full review, I would highly recommend the book. He writes about the American trend away from happiness, despite our amassed wealth and stuff. While money is important to have a decent standard of living, research shows that money itself does not make a country or oneself happy. 


Without giving away the punchline, it’s no surprise that trust, gratitude and social connections are the genuine bliss breeders. Here’s a brief video where Weiner describes landing in Iceland in the middle January. I reminds me of my Twin Sis’ high school exchange to Finland where she saw the sun once during the entire month of December!





Where is your happiest place?


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

Great & Grand Green Mamas

Happy Almost Mama’s Day!


I’ve shared inspiring Green Mama stories all week, but I’ve been saving the best for last. My own Grand-Mama and Mama inspire me daily, and help shape my green ethics and family values.


When I was a kid I remember thinking that our Grandma was a bit extreme in her frugality, and I bet that I rolled my eyes back in junior high when she insisted that I patch the holes in the knees of my jeans.  

Despite having a prosperous nursery business, she’s never been frivolous in her spending.  While influenced in part by her experience as a young woman during the Great Depression, frugality often contributes greatly to reducing ones footprint even if that’s not your primary intent.

Our Mama has quite the green roots.  She lived in the most sustainable of ways, by moving off the electrical grid for a decade, where I was fortunate enough to spend my youth.  She knows what it is like to live off the harvest and lightly on the earth. She was even a Green Mompreneur in her hippie days, and actually had a small business where she sold handmade leather garments – think moccasins, buckskin jackets.


Decades later, she now teaches home economics at a small school, where she’s led an effort to become a certified Oregon Green School. She’s not only a very Green Mama, but a leader in her community.


Aside from my own Green Grands and Greats in my life, there are many other that inspire as well. I was thrilled to find a Hippy Grandma Eco Love blog! Check out the Green Grandma’s blog for a taste of how to Live Green & Live Smart. 


Was your Grandma Green?  Has she taught you how to live more lightly on the earth?



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