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Let's surpass sustainability setbacks.

We all have our hang-ups When it comes to living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, mine's soda--real-deal soda, with HFCS and caffeine that's packaged like crazy and trucked in from who knows where. Sure, I eat natural, organic and local foods most of the time and am very conscious of the ingredients in the foods I eat. But, soda is my Achilles' heel. Every once in a while, I overlook the nasty ingredient list and chug away, stopping only to make "ahhhh" sounds just like in the commercials.

Why am I sharing my not-so-healthy secret with you? Because, again, we all have hang-ups. And when it comes to living simply and sustainably, there are likely changes that have so far proven too much to handle for all of us. Maybe you, like me, feel comforted by the items in your home (even the unnecessary ones) and just can't purge, or maybe you're hesitant to take the next step and try living exclusively off renewable energy. We hope this issue will help you conquer the last bridges you have to cross on the simple and sustainable living path. (It doesn't present an antidote to my kryptonite, though; if you hold the answer that can help me resist the pull of Cherry Coke, please let me know!)

Cheek out "Counting Carbon" where NLJ staff and Green Home Experts Board members become my guinea pigs. Even though my co-workers were nervous about finding out their true carbon footprints, they were good sports. See everyone's results, hear what they thought about the process, and get some expert advice on taking those last scary steps toward sustainability on page 6. Two local families currently living off the grid share their stories in "No Grid Needed" on page 8. Cheek it out, and you may find that there's no reason you can't give up the grid yourself. And on page 12, Adriel McIntyre, aka The Intrepid Declutterer[TM], shares three easy steps for simplifying your surroundings. In her article "Simplify, Share, Sustain," she also offers up suggestions on where to send your purged goods so they don't end up sitting in a landfill.

The great tips and ideas don't stop at our features. In our departments this issue, you'll find everything from articles that make understanding the many styles of yoga a snap (Breathe In, page 19) and composting as easy as 1-2-3 (Soul Kitchen, page 36) to how-tos for saving healing plants (Herbal Healing, page 17) and creating a handy sewing kit to fix, not toss damaged clothing (Hands On, page 32). Don't miss a page!

Maggie Cramer, managing editor
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Author:Cramer, Maggie
Publication:New Life Journal
Date:Aug 1, 2009
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