Homeless by Choice: How to Live for Free in America
It’s tempting to conclude that Suelo’s years in the wilderness have transformed him into a crusader for the earth. And clearly his lifestyle has a lower impact than virtually anybody else’s in America. Without a car or a home to heat and cool, he produces hardly any carbon dioxide. Foraging for wild raspberries and spearfishing salmon has close to zero environmental cost—no production, no transportation. And although food gathered from a dumpster must be grown and processed and shipped, rescuing it from the trash actually prevents the further expenditure of energy to haul and bury that excess in a landfill.
Suelo brings into existence no bottles, cans, wrappers, bags, packaging, nor those plastic six- pack rings that you’re supposed to snip up with scissors to save the seabirds. As for the benefits of pitching Coke bottles into the recycling bin— Suelo is the guy pulling those bottles out of the bin, using them until they crack, then pitching them back. The carbon footprint of the average American is about twenty tons per year. Suelo’s output is probably closer to that of an Ethiopian— about two hundred pounds, or about one half of 1 percent of an American’s.
"He wants to have the smallest ecological footprint and the largest possible impact at improving the world," says his best friend, Damian Nash. "His life goal since I met him is to take as little and give as much as possible." More…
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