Author Archives | Pioneering The Simple Life
A plastic sack works as a bucket, too. © Liesl Clark

DIY Buckets

By Liesl Clark Like planters, anything that can hold things can be a bucket: The Pressure Cooker Bucket: This cow feeds from the bottom half of a pressure cooker. It’s a perfect feed pail for a dusty paddock. The Feed Sack Bucket: These handmade horse feeders from Upper Mustang, Nepal come from apricot sacks of […]

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When this plastic water or fuel container broke, it was turned into a large planter.

5 DIY Planters From the Himalaya

By Liesl Clark Planters are easy to come by. Whether you have little growing space outdoors, or want to beautify a patio or rooftop, pull your nearest receptacle or container from your trash and turn it into a planter. The more innovative, the more interesting and discussion-worthy for your friends and neighbors. Here are a […]

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A dried riverbed of trash found outside the beautiful village of Ghami while the water was diverted for a few hours. This garbage waterfall is about 1/4 mile long. © Liesl Clark

Cleaning Up a Himalayan Village

By Liesl Clark The village of Samdzong is so small it took us only 25 minutes to walk around with sacks to pick up the garbage thrown outside people’s homes. Why is this trash found throughout the village? Until recently, all garbage was organic: Shoes were (and many still are) handmade from leather and wool, […]

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IMG_0703 © Liesl Clark

Trash Forwards: Give Your Used Clothing To The Poor

By Liesl Clark “Divide the clothing into 17 piles.” We had brought 4 duffel bags filled with socks, jackets, pants, hats, all the clothing necessary to keep a family warm. What we didn’t anticipate was that the clothing would have to be divided into 17 equal shares. This village has 17 households. To keep it […]

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Tula Magar and Popcorn for 10. © Liesl Clark

Popcorn: The 5,000 Year Old No Waste Snack

By Liesl Clark Almost every culture in the world pops its corn. Zea maize, or corn as we know it, is a New World domesticate that spread worldwide over thousands of years. “The origins of maize can be traced to a grass called teosinte, the grass ancestor of Zea maize, to Meso-America some 6,000 – […]

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Bamboo + Electrical Wire = Pretty Garden Fence.

DIY Bamboo Fence

By Liesl Clark This bamboo fence, in Kalopani, Nepal, is one of my favorite DIY trash backwards garden fences I’ve come across in my travels. It’s a simple construction of bamboo sticks and woven electrical cord to hold the whole structure together. Here, people use what they have at hand to create beauty in an […]

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DIY Chicken Feeder © Liesl Clark

DIY Chicken Feeder

By Liesl Clark Chickens are raised all over the world for their eggs and meat. By some estimates, there are 45 chickens per person on the planet. My family had chickens when I was a child (we had, on average, 2 chickens per person!) and we took monthly trips to our local farm coop for […]

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A Case For Exposing Your Children to Traditional Arts Using Natural Materials. Photo © Liesl Clark

20 Free Crafts Not Plastic

By Liesl Clark When my children reached elementary school age and we enrolled them in programs that had art classes, we were amazed at how few natural materials were used for art supplies and just how much of it was plastic: glitter glue, colorful plastics for mosaics, acrylic-coated feathers, various items to be “recycled” through […]

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The drying cycle.

How To Do Bathtub Laundry

By Liesl Clark If you ever have a power outage and need to do an important load of laundry, consider the bathtub! We’ve done bathtub laundry all over the world, mostly because you can do it in any location that has a tub and this simple practice saves a bundle of money if you’re traveling. […]

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Greeted by Plastic on Korean Airlines

Lamenting Airplane Plastics

By Liesl Clark We were being encroached upon by hundreds of clear plastic bags. They were on our laps, around our sleepy heads, stuffed under our feet, indeed engulfing our food and toiletries. Somehow, we had become unsuspecting plassengers on an 11-hour plastic-sealed adventure across the Pacific. How had we fallen head-first into this sea […]

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