As the new year approaches it’s traditional to take a look back at the year in review. I like to share with you a few highlight from this year and toast to a new beginning.

Looking Back On ’05

*cob oven completed (thanks to all who helped) and used on a regular basis

*car free days – 4 out of 7 days car free

*heating with B100 in vintage oil heater

* baking bread more often

*concrete patio torn out to make way for a more sustainable garden, water reclamation and harvesting

*purchased composting toilet

*purchased greywater system

*purchasing bulk items from a co-op

*mandatory use of canvas bags on grocery trips

*using hand washer/ wringer

*oil lamps that burn on B100

*volunteered in hurricane ravaged New Orleans

*gradual reduction of unnecessary electric gadgets: toaster, electric hair shears

*brewed ~ 300 gallons of biodiesel

*been to a gas station only 3 times this year, last being over 6 months ago when we ran out of homebrew biodiesel and we needed fuel in a pinch.

*composted enough soil to supply our garden with rich organic matter

*16 years since becoming vegetarian

*6 year since we started ‘Path to Freedom’

*eliminated wasteful paper cups, plates and plastic utensils at PTF events

*shop primarily at health food store

*avoided chain stores or other major retailers for clothes (except for things like socks and undies)

*shop second hand for clothing (a few exceptions where we bought items such as pants or shoes from catalogs)

Now that that list is done – burn it! Just kidding.  No time to rest and admire past steps. It’s time to look forward to the journey ahead, what other small steps can we accomplish what parts of our lives need to be changed?

Looking Ahead

*purchasing an incubator

*hatching chicken eggs

*improving the solar shower

*installation of compost toilet

*more grey water recycled

*gutters installed to capture rainfall

*rainwater cistern/harvesting

*continued energy & water conservation

*buy less pre-made and packaged goods

*buy “staples” (flour, rice) locally within Calif or 100 mile radius

*launch PTF’s new website

* fix up solar oven reflective panels

*educational travel/field trips

*sew a few outfits

*learn something new

*be thankful

*drink more herbal teas

*focus on little changes, small steps

What steps or changes are you planning on taking in ’06? Let’s hear from our readers, so can all learn and get inspired from each other along the path.

No Comments

  1. Jamie says:

    Per usual you are leading the way and an inspiration..but on my list I am working, I have
    reducing the amount of trash we have/generate,get rid of the microwave,eat more from the garden,bake more :),read more etc

  2. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais,
    A thoughtful list of achievement from PTF serves as a strong guide over what I have achieved as one person trying to do everything myself.Like you I conclude that small steps make changes in the same way that large steps do.I also want an incubator and I want to add to my animals in turn with 2 khaki campbell ducks,more chooks and some rabbits.Bio diesel for heating and lamp oil is a major goal,providing I dont blow myself up trying to brew it!I feel that in reality I am also planning ahead to 2007 as certain projects will carry over,ie composting loo!The building of more raised beds and better use of available space is a priority as well.Water reclamation from my roof is also on my list.I look forward to sharing my journey on the path with as many who care to take time to walk awhile with me and I ask nought of myself but strength and resolve to carry on single handed thru 2006.Blessings to you all

  3. Mimi says:

    I love to remind myself about babysteps. It helps to realize that the path is a beautiful journey with the destination not necessarily being achievements so much as a feeling of being proud of who you are at the end of the day and feeling that what you do makes a difference in your life enough to radiate to others. My steps are to harvest *something* from the garden (as of yet we are at 0 lbs), teach my children about reuse and gratitude, compost, and add more beauty in my garden.

  4. green LA girl says:

    May I suggest offering an RSS or XML feed for your blog?

    (Also, I’ve moved — to

    Keep yr inspiring! Slowly, you’re giving LA county a brand new rep —

  5. Walter Jeffries says:

    Happy New Years!

  6. Maya says:

    Hi from Antibes, South of France.

    Happy New Year 2006! May all your dreams and wishes come true…
    I ‘found’ you from Siel at site. I’ve been supporting her Starbucks Challenge and reading her blog since 2 months ago. I’ve been reading yours too at the same time. I have not commented here, but what an incredible effort and focus you have there. I’m so inspired! You have such a great life, practicing what you believe in. I never thought I could ever be that close to being sustainable, but you have proven that it is possible. Good luck for more new and exciting things in 2006. I’ll keep reading and be inspired! I wish I could live in such a home…your kids are very lucky to grow up this way. My hat off to you all…keep up the great work and thank you for sharing everything. I love those photos you share online…

  7. Anais says:

    Happy New Year Maya!

    Thank you for your positive and encouraging comments and welcome to our site.

    I love your web store. Do you ever sell things overseas?

    Wishing you a bountiful and healthful new year.

    See you along the path,

  8. Anais says:

    Hi GreenLA Girl

    Thanks for your suggestion. I will try to add RSS feed to the blog this year.

    Wishing you all the best on your journey,

  9. Maya says:

    Glad to hear from you back, Anais 🙂 Thank you for visiting my blog and store, and yes if you’d like I’ll send over things that you’re interested in for sure. Soon I’d like to open the SAYA online version 🙂 I did it already for a friend in Germany…Best wishes once again…I’ll be reading more of your inspiring life, thank you.

    See you next time…