Nelson and I have embarked on a bit of a challenge since we arrived in NZ. With inspiration from our friend Oscar we've trying to live for free, or as close to it as possible. Its not that we're cheap (although one of us does have a bit of a stingy side). By consuming less we are lessening our impact on the earth. When we do consume, by trading goods or services instead of money whenever possible we are deliberately stepping out of a global economy that expolits people and planet.
I know that sounds drastice, but it makes sense to me. If I need milk, and am lucky enough to live in a spot where there is a dairy farmer, I have two choices. I can buy milk from the store with money. My dollar goes to support the transportation, packaging, marketing of the product but also, the banking system and tax systems. I don't want to support all of these things, I just want some milk. Buying milk directly from the farmer solves the first lot of problems, but bartering goods or services in exchange for the milk solves them all.
Don't get me wrong we still both have credit cards, bank accounts, and bills. But, we've been eliminating them little by little.
Some things are hard. Waikato University and The School for Intern ational Training currently don't have a tuition exchange for vegetables. Although, its a good idea, and one I think you'll see more of in the future.
Some things are easy. We ride bikes or hitch whenever feasible. We grow our own veggies. We've opted out of cell phones.
Another thing that's been pretty easy is for us is housing. We haven't paid rent in a year through a combination of house sitting and working for accomodation. Our latest stint in in a beautiful house in town (don't worry we still have the house truck as a weekend getaway at the beach). We've been house sitting for about a month now and I realized that I never even mentioned it yet to you faithful blog readers. We signed up for a house sitting network a few months ago hoping to find something long term in Raglan. We've gotten tons of offers for other areas of NZ, but none for Raglan until now. Not really that surprising considering what a tourist town Raglan is during the summer.
Anyway, finally we got a contact for a house sit in Raglan. Liz is away for 6 weeks until June 7th. Perfect because Nelson and I both fly out on the 15th. She is super sweet and offered us any food in the cupboards and use of her car. Not to mention tha thte house is gorgeous. Free internet. TV for the first time in months. A cute cat. And the view! Living for free is fun.
Our living room.
Fagan the cat.
The view from our house.
Dining room/ Kitchen.