Episode 132

Emily’s Update on Tiny Home Living and More

Marianne & I (Emily) had a great conversation where I update her on our exciting adventures since our last interview in episode 116. We start with my new book that is now out and available wherever books are sold. Minimalist Living For a Maximum Life is available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Minimalist-Living-Maximum-Life-Simple/dp/1944833390, I am working on getting it as an audiobook and an online version. In the book, I share our journey to minimalist living and simplifying our lives. I also discuss ways to live a mindful, organic, holistic lifestyle that heals your mind body and soul.  Continue reading

Episode 131

The New Voices on The Sustainable Living Podcast

As you know, there are new voices at The Sustainable Living Podcast. When Jenise decided to give up podcasting for now, I got excited about the idea of adding a variety of new voices to our program. Sustainable Living is such a large topic and many of us are trying our best to become knowledgeable about the many aspects of creating a more sustainable life. Continue reading

Episode 130

Zoe Who Erickson- A Young Yoga Instructor

by Emily Gerde

I had the pleasure of interviewing Zoe Who Erickson. As a recent graduate from Northwester Health Science University, she displays wisdom beyond her years and inspires us to live sustainably through the mindfulness of yoga. Zoe became a yoga instructor at age 17 and since then she has mastered her craft with unique class structures, meditations and individualized instruction. She notes Eckhart Tolle’s books as a catalyst in bringing even more mindfulness into yoga and allows her to live in the present moment, rather than the past or future. By doing so she has been able to heal herself and assist in healing her clientele by embodying living in the present. Continue reading

Emily Gerde – Guest CoHost

Guest CoHost Emily Gerde presents Ryan Ott. He is a professional builder and has helped many people to fulfill their dream to build a tiny home. In this interview, we learn about the cost involved in building a tiny home and much, much more. If you are dreaming to own one in the future, this podcast will prepare you to ask all the right questions and make a plan before you spend any money. Best to do it right from the beginning.

Know How to Ask the Right Questions

by Emily Gerde

Ryan Ott is the owner of Midwest Tiny Living LLC. Based in Minnesota, Ryan brings a lifetime of experience and experiments to the tiny house community. His approach is to custom build tiny homes for the clients he serves which helps them make the transition in a way that works best for them. This technique, he feels, is the best way to ensure a successful transition from living in large rooms to living in a large world.


[clickToTweet tweet=”Ryan Ott is helping people to find is the best way to ensure a successful transition from living in large rooms to living in a large world. Listen to the Sustainable Living Podcast” quote=”Ryan Ott is helping people to find is the best way to ensure a successful transition from living in large rooms to living in a large world.”]

We discuss all things tiny houses including pricing, planning, building, and parking. Ryan gives us an insider view of tiny house building and inspires us to think about the tiny house movement as a bigger goal of home ownership.  Ryan gives practical advice on how to plan efficiently and what to consider before finalizing your design. He does a great job explaining the difference between RV’s (which I accidentally call mobile homes), and tiny houses. From insulation to size and practicality, Ryan gives us the insight you need to make an informed decision about building a tiny house. With personal experience in living in a tiny house and camper, I can attest to his assessment of the pros and cons to both.

We dive into what it takes to make a tiny house and why prices vary from state to state. There is a growing confusion with tiny houses prices with most information coming from tiny house television shows. Ryan gives a step-by-step explanation of the cost of materials and how quickly they add up but also assures potential tiny homeowners costs can be decreased easily with used materials, sweat equity, fewer windows, smaller trailer and used appliances. He encourages you to build to the 98% of your life, by making sure your daily needs are met. He gives a great example of a bathtub being an unnecessary item if you take a bath twice a year or a huge kitchen if you only seat more than a few people on holidays. His practical planning advice will assure you design and build the tiny home that best fits your needs and wants.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Ryan Ott encourages you to build to the 98% of your life, by making sure your daily needs are met. Listen to episode 127 of The Sustainable Living podcat” quote=”Ryan Ott encourages you to build to the 98% of your life, by making sure your daily needs are met.”]

Financial freedom is a big part of the discussion as we discuss how tiny houses will save you a lot of money in the long run with no mortgage, small utility bills and low maintenance costs. Tiny homes are one piece of the puzzle for finding new ways to offer affordable houses. This may require some trailblazers to get zoning regulations changed in their area, as well as finding ways to build them up to a specific code to allow more parking spot options. When it comes to parking Ryan believes we all deserve to follow our dreams and live where we want to live and thrive.

You can find Ryan on his website at


You can also find him on Instagram and Facebook @Midwesttinyliving

Build Tiny home


Find out more about Emily and her Tiny Home experience here

A Tiny House for a Family

And hear how Collen Valles prepared for her move

Moving to a Tiny House


Steven’s Journey to Backyard Farming

Steven Cornett has the farming bug!! Or rather, the backyard farming bug. Maybe someday, he wants to farm a bigger piece of land in the country. But right now, the farming in the city is fulfilling his dreams.

He happily works many hours to get his backyard farm off the ground.

Until not too long ago, he also worked a regular job – a job he actually liked.

Continue reading

Why are We Talking about the Blockchain?

Why are we talking about the blockchain, you may ask? Here is why. The news is abuzz with the rise of bitcoin. At the time of our interview, the value of bitcoin was around $6000 and by the time the podcast went live, the value has risen to $18,000. That can make your head spin. Especially when most understand that the original price of a coin was less than a dollar.

What a great investment!

But even those who haven’t invested in Bitcoin are starting to pay attention and want to know what this is all about. Well, Bitcoin is an application on the bitcoin blockchain.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Learn about #Blockchain Technology and #Cryptocurrency. Listen to the podcast!! So much to learn! Join Steemit.com” quote=”Learn about Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency. Listen to the podcast!! So much to learn! Join Steemit.com.”]

And here it is. That is why we need to know what a blockchain is. It is technology which is coming into our lives if we want it or not.

So, let’s find out about this technology and see how we can use it to help us in our quest for a sustainable lifestyle.

Who is @taskmaster4450?

You might wonder who our guest is and why we had him on the podcast. Well, I did meet him on the social media platform called Steemit and enjoyed his articles. I thought they were rather informative.

But I let him tell you in his own words who he is and why we can trust his expertise.

Technology is a passion of mine. I am a futurist and a technologist. I am  very optimistic about the future because of all the technological innovations that we will see in the next few decades. We are living in a digital world. Each day more of society enters this realm.

I help others to embrace and understand what is taking place. Managing information is at the core of this transition. Companies/Individuals are best served to step back to take a broad spectrum view.

Some of the exciting developments:

  • Business Process Automationblockchain cryptocurrency
  • 3D Printing
  • 5G technology
  • Quantum Computing
  • Robotics
  • Big Data Nano technology
  • Solar Energy
  • Electric/Autonomous Vehicles
  • Battery Power
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Internet of Things
  • Human Longevity
  • Drones

It is certainly an exciting time to be alive and in the business world.

Some Highlights from the Podcast

  • The blockchain is the technology.
  • Cryptocurrency is an application on the blockchain.
  • The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger.
  • Banks are centralized.
  • cryptocurrency is a protocol designed by algorithms that cannot be changed.

I know this sounds rather cryptic if you are a total beginner. I highly encourage you to listen to the podcast – more than once. Each time, you will understand a bit more.

One question I asked @taskmaster4450 – showing very much that I am a newbie: “What can the blockchain do?”

His response was that that is like asking what can the internet do. The possibilities are endless.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Blockchain Technology: The possibilities are endless!! Listen to the podcast! Understand #blockchain& #cryptocurrency” quote=”Blockchain Technology: The possibilities are endless!! “]

If you remember a pre-internet time, you know that at first, only a few people embraced this technology and many thought that it wasn’t necessary to get familiar with computers and the internet.

Fast forward to today, only 20 years later, almost everything is done via the internet. As a matter of fact, senior centers are making it a point to teach basic computer and internet skills. Many tasks have to be done online – things like applying for Medicare, insurance and so much more.

@taskmaster is predicting that it won’t be long until everything will take place on the blockchain.

We mentioned Metcalfe’s law on the podcast. If you are not familiar with the term, read more here.

Earn Cryptocurrency

Many of us might not have any money to invest into cryptocurrency. The advice given over and over by experts is to only invest money you can afford to lose. Of course, that is sound advice for the stock and bond market as well.

But the good news is that it is easy to earn cryptocurrency. Let me share two ways with you.


The first one, we also mentioned on the podcast, is Bitrad.io. Basically, you are earning a currency called BRO for listening to the radio. There are many stations to choose from.

Not all seem to be working for me, but I found a few I like and am playing them in the background – earning for listening. Don’t get too excited – BRO is not worth very much right now. But one never knows what the future will bring. And listening to any other stations earns a big Zero.

Please use this referral link to open your own account http://bitrad.io/?ref=97511

If you like this idea, you can find a referral link in your own profile and share it with your friends. You end up with a little extra this way.


This is a social media platform which is an application on a blockchain. Steem is the currency associated with Steemit as well as SBD (Steem Backed Dollar).

The way to earn those currencies is to post quality content on the platform. People vote for the content and that is how the earnings accrue.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Earn cryptocurrency on steemit.com and on bitradio. Use referral link http://bitrad.io/?ref=9751 Listen and earn.” quote=”Earn cryptocurrency on steemit.com and on bitradio. Use this referral link. Listen and earn.”]

Recently, the price of both Steem and SBD has been on the rise – it has been as high as $ 20 US for $ 1 SBD. But trading and how to take advantage of those opportunities will be the subject of one of the segments we are planning to bring to you on a regular basis.

To get your own account, go to Steemit.com. If you do, let me know and I am happy to help you maneuver. It can seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning.

But more and more applications are developing on this blockchain. For example, you can listen to our podcast on DTube. Click here to check it out. How cool is that!! I posted it one hour ago from this writing and so far, it earned me $0.31. Not overwhelming, but 31 cents more than hundreds of listeners earn on any other podcatcher.

Other applications are DTube – similar to YouTube. And of course, you can listen (and watch a graphic) to this podcast there as well.

Other applications are Steepshot – comparable to Instagram, and Zappl – comparable to Twitter.

For all I know, there are many more applications. Maybe you are a developer and are ready to develop your own application.