Featured Posts

July 27, 2017

Years ago, one day after a lesson on sustainability, a student said, ‘This is so interesting Austine, but I have to be honest with you, what does it mean for my life or my work as an elementary teacher?’  Suddenly, it came crashing down on me that in educating about sustainability, I had been showing these beautiful examples of a Platinum LEED certified building, the initiatives in Pudre School District to build a geothermal energy source, and the story of Nick Chambers with Choke Cherry farms in Crestone living off of the land and off grid with his family, but they weren’t practical examples for everyone.  This simple question revolutionized how I wanted...

July 22, 2017

I remember when I first started the process of removing rocks from landscaping walls.  We had just moved in, it was 2003, and there were rocks everywhere.  I dreamed of growing beautiful gardens everywhere, but I didn’t know the first thing about gardening.  First, I planted mint, then sage, then oregano.  The next season, one by one, I removed the rocks from the next garden and planted chives, valerian, tarragon, lavender, and raspberries.  Eventually, year by year, almost every inch of grass was removed as well and replaced with asparagus, rhubarb, sweetgrass, a peach tree, grapes, butterfly weed, blackberries, the list goes on and on....

July 11, 2017

That is how this all started, as a young girl walking the island barefoot.  Exploring the earth underneath, like a grand mansion housing every bug I could ever imagine.  Flipping over rocks just to see what would scramble out.  I remember feeling so comfortable in my unapologetic curiosity, so at ease with wondering, no fear of feeling like I had asked a stupid question or of being called out for not listening.  School was different than the summer cedar woods on Manitoulin Island.  Here, on the island, she was like a great teacher gently and patiently encouraging me to ask another question, and another.  Never annoyed by the time it took to let me wonder...

July 11, 2017

A few years ago, I taught some college students about climate change but some of them didn’t want to hear it.  After fumbling through this feeling of frustration trying to make sense out of the seeming indifference, in some cases what felt like outright rejection, I let go.  I let go of the urge of wanting to change them and instead embraced an opportunity to guide by sharing my own experiences of working through the seemingly mundane day to day decisions where natural  and social resources were embedded in everything I did.  That became interesting to them, because they began to see where we all buy into products and lifestyles that don’t always line up...

July 5, 2017

Bee populations need our help! After a long winter of surviving from the honey they made the previous season, honey bees start searching for pollen with the emergence of spring dandelions. The Let Em Live! campaign is to raise awareness and community support to let the dandelions live during the first few weeks of spring so the bees can safely gather the much needed pollen from these flowers. Take time off from mowing or spraying them, after the flowering phase, simply use an asparagus knife to uproot and compost them!! If this is done before they seed they can be returned to the lawn for a nutritious treat for the grass!

July 5, 2017

Hello World! Welcome to CLP's Nearly Zero Project Blog. In this space, we hope to introduce some amazing people and community members who are doing innovative work to live more lightly on the planet.

This idea has been in the works for quite some time now. Years ago, I wished to have a home as disconnected from the grocery and the buying stuff train as I could get.  Fifteen years later, the slow project of building a small urban food system in the backyard is still growing and we have expanded to include other neighbors, and school yards.

The journey to feed my family on a small urban plot of land has been interesting and quite enlightening. It started...

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Hands in the Soil

September 5, 2019

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Consumption Literacy Project
12000 E. 47th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80239
(720) 663-1771

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