We're on a mission to find joy in a more sustainable life.

This is our journey as we recommit to a simple life with more time to play, less stuff to clean, and less waste to manage.

We celebrate our biggest triumphs, learn from utter failures, and share everything in between. We welcome you to do the same!

RECENT BLOG POSTS

Reusable Gift Bags Tutorial

A few years ago, I sewed a bunch of reusable cloth gift bags in cheerful Christmas patterns and they continue to bring me such joy! I love wrapping presents in these gorgeous bags. I love giving them to people (and am so honored when friends and family want to keep the bag in addition to the gift… in fact, you’ll regularly find me sneaking around and gathering my bags up after gift opening is over at our family gatherings). I love reusing them year after year! AND they’re super easy to make! I swear, they’re a great project for beginner sewers because it doesn’t matter the size, shape, or even if they’re particularly square. The process is three simple steps: cut, sew, enjoy!

The Great Christmas Tree Debate

Are you on Team Natural or Team Artificial when it comes to Christmas trees? Have you ever wondered which is more sustainable? Most of us firmly believe that one is “better” than the other, but there’s a really interesting debate about the sustainability aspects of this tradition. Here are a few pros and cons to consider when choosing the type of tree you use to celebrate the holidays.

Hunting for our Christmas tree in the National Forest!

Did you know you can harvest a Christmas tree from the National Forest? You can! And in Michigan, the permit is only $5, making this a more affordable alternative to many traditional Christmas tree farms in addition to an amazing family adventure. This is one of my FAVORITE family holiday traditions! We love the adventure of hunting for our Christmas tree in the natural woods! We pack hot chocolate and marshmallows, and make an afternoon out of it!

13 Tips for Green Apartment Living Directly From Experts

HAPPY BELATED EARTH DAY!!! To honor the holiday, I was thrilled to contribute to a blog on Redfin.com. The blog went live last week, but since every day is Earth Day around here, I’m sharing it with you now. Read on for some great tips from sustainability bloggers around the web, including yours truly. P.S. most of these tips are relevant for everyone, even if you don’t live in an apartment, so don’t let the title fool you into skipping this great read. 

GETTING STARTED

Photo taken by James Harnois. Find him at http://www.jamesharnois.com/ and @jamesharnoisphoto on Instagram.

Introduction to Carbon Free Family

Hi! I’m Erin Augustine and welcome to Carbon Free Family — a blog where I’ll share tips and stories about my sustainability progress, failures, and philosophy.

I hope to help you define what sustainability means for you and your family, achieve progress on your journey from exactly where you are, and debunk the “sustainability is hard” myth.

How Do You Measure and Define Sustainability?

Let’s start with further defining sustainability.

The traditional business definition is the triple bottom line – people, planet, profit –  and any good business needs to deliver on all three. I believe these same three values apply to personal life and I apply them in the following ways.

Getting Started on Your Journey

At least once a year (usually in January, but it can be anytime) I like to take a few moments to reflect on life and my progress on my sustainability journey. I think there’s huge value in reviewing my actions to make sure they’re a good reflection of my core beliefs and that I’m living the life of my dreams (or at least actively striving for it).

UPCOMING EVENTS

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  • Carbon Free Family’s Kickstart Your Sustainability Journey workshop was transformative. Erin’s breadth of knowledge on sustainable practices is vast, but her true talent lies in her unique ability to flip your mindset and show you what is actually possible, what can indeed work in your life. 

  • Erin is the voice of The Carbon Free Family - a family that "walks the walk" along the path we all must take, if we want to continue to enjoy life on Planet Earth. Her presentation is non-judgemental, thought-provoking and, most importantly, FUN! So, no matter where you might be on that path, you're sure to learn something from Erin. Her enthusiasm is infectious and you will come away realizing that the walk is not about sacrifice, it's about joy! 

  • Our Unitarian Universalist church engaged Erin as our guest speaker for our Earth Day service. Erin was really easy to work with and graciously practiced with us prior to the service as we were still learning how to conduct a virtual service during a global pandemic. This was one our best attended virtual services to date. Erin stayed after the service to join our coffee hour and answer questions. The service was so inspiring that our congregation has started a small sustainability group that is meeting monthly. What a great success!

  • Erin's presentation was very approachable for those new to sustainability. She focuses on the joy you can find in this lifestyle and explains that being sustainable doesn't have to be expensive, which can keep many people from exploring this lifestyle. She also talked about how lessening your carbon footprint is a journey and that no matter where you are in that journey, it is important to be transparent and learn from others. Fostering such encouragement in a sustainable community is really inspiring!

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