Personal Update 202110 | 1 Oct 2021 | Friday 


Thanks for taking a moment to read this month’s update. The photo featured above is from a nature walk at Kent Park on 25 Sep 2021. You can subscribe to be notified of these monthly newsletters, or scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email address to be notified of every post to this site.

Local Food and Pollinators

I’ve been recently trying to create better environmental impact outcomes with my food choices. In recent years I started buying local milk from a dairy business in Kalona, Iowa. This past month I decided to get milk from a different source — a dairy that provides milk in glass containers that can get sanitized and reused.

People who go on diets will typically begin thinking more about what motivates their food choices and eating habits. When I’ve reflected on such things, I’ve identified that I generally eat to have energy for my work. Carbs had been my go-to food to keep going.

I’ve recently started drinking coffee and find the energy gained from the coffee is a great substitute for food. Whether I eat a big meal of spaghetti and garlic bread, or have a delicious cup of coffee, the energy I gain is about the same. Although with coffee, there’s less bulk in my stomach so I’m not slowed down by the digestion process. So, afternoon naps are no longer an issue.

I’ve realized that I don’t crave any particular food. What I crave is having the energy and clarify of mind that can help me get my work done.

I still eat salads and get nutrition from some essential foods, but the quantity of food is reduced considerably, and the few foods I do eat are selected specifically for their nutritive value.

What’s really amazing to me is the reduction in trash and recycling. I don’t know the specific numbers, but it seems like I’m eating about 70% less ‘food’ and have 70% less trash and containers to deal with. It’s really a surprising and unexpected outcome.

For my coffee, I use fresh locally roasted beans purchased just days after roasting. These get stored in air-tight containers. I grind just the amount I need for a cup of coffee when making it fresh. So, it’s a potent delicious cup of coffee.

The recipe I use for the coffee includes the local milk mentioned above, and raw honey from local farmers. So, now, the coffee I drink, which provides most of my daily energy, is made from mostly local organic ingredients.

The raw honey from local farmers helps support our pollinators and nourish the local ecosystem and environment.

With this new diet, I’m losing weight and reducing my landfill contribution. Rather than recycling so many materials, and looking for ways to buy in bulk with reusable containers, I’ve made a significant overall reduction in my consumption. It’s very satisfying.

The other unexpected and unanticipated benefit has been the savings of many hundreds of dollars every month on groceries. The energy density of coffee and honey with milk is very high. The ratio of energy per dollar is very high, and the amount of space required is very low. There are fewer trips to the grocery store. Fewer trips to the gas station. Less time spent eating. It’s a super efficient system.

Reducing Energy Consumption

Last year, an inland hurricane resulted in wide-spread damage and over 300,000 people were without power. Many people had no power for many days. This motivated me to explore ways to consume less electricity, to extend the usefulness of battery power systems.

Today I posted an article about the subject sharing some of my findings: “Low Power Computing During Power Outages” [View]


Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.

Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 21 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and public interest efforts. This is based on the Life Map presented on the Resources For Life website. [View]