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A letter from CaliBamboo CEO Jeff Goldberg

I want to take this issue of Greenshoots to thank everyone who participated in our first Green Home Challenge, we received hundreds of great submissions from around the world, but had to narrow our finalists down to the top 10 within the U.S. We hope everyone will take this time to vote on these projects, but more importantly take some of the green ideas and implement just one or two concepts for your own home.

In light of this concept of a “green home” I want to share a recent personal experience I had while visiting Russia for my first time last month. I had the opportunity to visit a small village about 700 miles east of Moscow in the outskirts of a small town called Kizner. My wife was taking me to this remote part of the globe so that I could meet her maternal grandparents and she could visit with them for the first time in years.

A very surprising thing came out of the trip; it turned out that without them even realizing it, her grandparents were living a near zero carbon lifestyle producing no waste products. They had developed a self sustaining property that produces everything they need to survive; a model example of permaculture.

They have about 1.5 acres of land covered by various crops such as potatoes, berries, squash, lettuce, carrots, beets and more. It was enough for two people to comfortably eat a well varied diet and jar the excess products to survive during the harsh winter months. They also own a goat and chicken both being vital to the maintenance of the land and the balance of their diet. The animals graze the fields eating the weeds and reducing the workload for the couple, while also fertilizing the land. Every morning her grandparents get fresh milk from the goat and fresh eggs from the chicken. Between the animals and the garden, they have the ability to eat a well balanced diet without relying on any outside food source.

There was no water wasted either, the kitchen sink, the sole indoor plumbing component of the home, did not drain out to some mysterious underground abyss. It all drained to a barrel that was then used on the crops. If there were products that were not consumable to the animals, compostable, or recyclable, they were often used as fuel to heat the stove for cooking.

You see that you don’t have to be wealthy to go “green” nor do you have to be a tree hugger. Her grandparents didn’t think about environmentalism or carbon credits, they just thought it was wrong to waste limited resources.

Simply taking the time to consider the little things we can do at home in our day to day life can yield a more sustainable lifestyle. If enough of us take heed of that message, perhaps together we can build a sustainable planet.

-Jeff Goldberg
Founder and CEO, Cali Bamboo

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