10 Ways to Move Toward a More Conscious and Thoughtful Existence

“Hi, I’m Caren.”

“Oh, hey! I have the pickled okra right here,” I said as I handed over a quart mason jar in exchange for several rolls of post-consumer recycled toilet tissue. Another bartering success, I thought.

Caren, who I’d met online through a Facebook group established by a neighborhood acquaintance, had responded to a post I had made earlier in the month asking for personal hygiene items in exchange for some home canned pickled okra. She wanted to be in on the next trade, which turned out to be toilet tissue.

It was all part of my plan to avoid the grocery store this summer and instead obtain the items I needed by bartering goods or services I already had. I am not in financial bind but the savings to our household budget have been noticeable and rewarding. Plus, Beg Borrow Trade Fort Worth (the name of the Facebook group) makes my goal to avoid big box marts like Kroger and Target extremely easy.

According to the BBT group’s description, it is “a private local (Fort Worth) group that aims at increasing shared resources between friends by providing a forum to give, borrow, or trade items/services. Members can post items/services that they are looking to give/borrow/trade or members can post items/services that they have and are willing to give/borrow/trade for. The goal is to increase collective consumerism, environmental responsibility, and connection to community. Please do not post advertisements for your business unless you are willing to be paid in goods/services and you state that in your post. Trade Local! Reduce waste!”

To me, it is a sustainable living cornerstone. But back to the story.

While I chatting with Caren for a few minutes after our exchange of goods, she brought up blogging. She had noticed several of the efforts I’ve made to live more sustainably and thought that I might be able to provide an online resource for others who want to do the same.

So, I’d like to say thank you to Caren for noticing! And here goes nothing…

Small beauties make life full.

10 Ways to Move Toward a More Conscious and Thoughtful Existence

  1. Grow a garden.
  2. Rinse out your recyclables.
  3. Reuse or repurpose items before recycling.
  4. Get to know your neighbors.
  5. Shop at thrift stores and resale shops.
  6. Buy local food when you can, but don’t be discouraged if you can’t afford it all the time.
  7. Support small businesses, especially the ones that try to use resources wisely and care for the environment.
  8. Bring your own food storage container when you eat out.
  9. Compost because it greatly reduces the amount of items that go in the trash.
  10. Finally, join a group that allows you to beg, borrow and trade items. It will change the way you think about “stuff” and reduce your environmental impact. Plus, you’ll meet cool people who live in your neighborhood.
If any of these things have piqued your interest, stay tuned. I’ve been inspired to blog more about the things I’m doing. A lot of it has to do with urban homesteading, and I’ll elaborate more as I go along. Cheers!


  1. Sounds great! These kinds of alternate “economies” seem to be springing up all over the place.
    I belong to one in my community that is simply about sharing backyard produce and goods (www.ripealtadena.com). Also, there is this other organization trying to get a jump start called Real Good Food (www.realgoodfood.org). It is an online platform for sharing prepared food and backyard produce. I think the idea is anyone could create a sharing group anywhere in the country using the website.

    Great post! I will be back :).

    • Thank you! That is awesome to hear about similar things happening all over. It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to share with others and share in other’s abundance. It is sad to me to think about all the people living isoloated with people all around them.

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