Feature Photo: blindscribe
I found “Hole in the Fence on Twitter while looking for people/groups to add to Matador’s “Change” list and was immediately interested. The family (Samson, Jeanne, Denette, Logan, and Kaia) lives as “green” as possible, and documents the whole process on their website and on Public Access TV. Samson is the host, with Jeanne (his mother) as the camerawoman. I touched base with Samson a couple months ago to find out what sustainability means to him and his family, and how other families can do their part.
How would you explain your lifestyle?
Samson: I’d say “DIY sustainable.” We try to find affordable, practical ways to reduce our impact, mostly by using things that are readily available and functional. We use Freecycle, Goodwill, and other second-hand groups a lot. It’s amazing the treasures we find.
How and why are you documenting your lifestyle?
Samson: When I was living in CA, my mom and I were blogging and filming a 30 minute show for Public Access. We filmed six fun and informative episodes before I had to move to WA for work. After my move, we had to cancel our Public Access program, and we’ve been struggling to maintain the blog due to my hectic work schedule. But the reason we started Hole in the Fence in the first place (a desire to demonstrate to others that it’s easy and fun to live a healthier, more sustainable, more self-sufficient life) is the same reason we will continue to develop it.
What impact do you think this lifestyle has had on your children?
Samson: Our kids are active participants in all of our projects; as a result, they experience life instead of reading about it in a textbook. This learn-by-doing approach builds their self-confidence, encourages their curiosity, and provides a deep and abiding knowledge of the world that they wouldn’t get in a classroom.
What are some basic tips you could share with other families/people who are trying to lessen their impact?
Samson: Start small, start easy, and include everyone in the household. Don’t think, don’t plan, just do it. Change out your incandescent lights, take a sightseeing trip to Goodwill, buy (and use!) more fresh food, plant a few lettuce starts, and pretty soon you’ll be composting, gardening, and hanging your clothes out to dry.
And as a nice side benefit, you’ll be getting exercise and saving a LOT of money.
Looking for ways to lessen your impact? Check out the No Impact Week Challenge, a week of evaluating and (ideally) changing your consumption!