He Lives On NO Cash, And He Is Doing Allright

Mark Boyle lives off the grid, in a caravan, outside the city.  He uses his bike-ride to town as his gym membership and one day wiped his bottom with a printed newspaper article about himselfHe lives on NO cash and he is doing alright.  Now you may say that is a bit extreme, however, check out what he learned from it:
The caravan
What have I learned? That friendship, not money is real security. That most western poverty is of the spiritual kind. That independence is really interdependence. And that if you don't own a plasma screen TV, people think you're an extremist. 
Why did he do it? Why go "no-cash"?
My own original reasons for moving beyond money were simple: I believed - and still do four years later - that until we reconnect with what we consume, there will always be sweatshops, always be clear cuts, always  be oil spills. [More here]
Easier for a single guy with no dependents would you say?
Imagine transitioning into living on no-cash? I suppose for a single person with no responsibilities other than himself it might be a bit easier. The article leaves me with quite a few questions, like what do you do if you break an arm on the way to town on the bike?  Then again, there is already an organized transitioning movement.

What do you think?

I'll tell you what I think.  I think money per say is NOT evil, but rather how it is used.  I think money can help communities thrive too when well directed. And finally I think that for a guy only responsible for himself it might, just might be easier than for someone in charge of a family.


  1. Interesting!
    I've always felt that people at the 'extremes' are necessary to encourage a conversation and for the regular population to meet in the middle.
    I would agree with you, though. Living 'no-money' is easy when you don't have a few children to feed, bring to school, buy clothing etc etc. (also, social services might not be too happy with that).
    (ps- You made my blogoverse chart! come check it out :))

  2. Also- forgot to comment re: broken arm-
    I'm assuming that is because in the USA it costs money for health care?
    In Canada an ambulance would cost you some money- but if you are extremely low (or no!) income I'm fairly certain that it is waived. Also, almost 100% of all that is done in the hospital setting is covered by medicare. :)
    Now, if you needed prescription medications, or glasses, or hearing aids, those are NOT covered by medicare. Pharmacare for those with low income would cover some... but not all. Which is serious if you have something like Cancer....

  3. Yes, Canada has a much better system when it comes to health, so does Argentina. It is interesting that there is a cost but they would wave it if you don't have money, however, if there is a cost, then someone ends up paying... maybe the taxpayers, or the government (which is again taxpayers) someone has to, some things are unfortunately just not free...

    I agree with you that extremes are good conversation starters, and that they bring new ideas to the table. That is always a good thing.

    And thanks for adding me to the territories of your blogiverse :-) Just left a comment there.

  4. I agree that such examples are meant to help us stretch our conceptions of what is possible. Certainly we can't all go to such extremes. It reminds me of a family near my dad's house in Ontario. They live off the grid and both parents bike to work every day-more than 10 km. Occasionally, in very harsh weather they will take a taxi. The little girl takes a school bus but she is becoming quite a good biker herself. This post also reminds me of the food session during our teacher training. The guest speaker only drank water from springs and he gathered most of his food from the wild. It was a bit much too chew for most of us, especially those who had to feed children. But even for people who would continue to drink tap water and buy groceries at the store, it was possible to take something out of his talk.

    So now you have two Canadian commenters on one post, Claudia. And with Canada being as enormous as it is, what are the odds we would both be in Halifax. And that we've already met! ;)

    Hope you're still enjoying Sharath! -Erica. xo.

  5. That is amazing indeed Erica, two comments from Cananda and from Halifax. I've been to Halifax by the way, loved the city.

    I agree with you and do take something out of this. I believe it is important for me at least, to use only what I need, not buy things I don't need. To use money wisely...

    And yes we are enjoying Sharath, tomorrow it is back to the grueling led primary, and i am very much looking forward to it.

    Congratulations on the book "I Let Go", well done you!

  6. This is great food for thought Claudia!...thanks for sharing this. ...and also I love your comments! They made me laugh. ;)
    I'll have to share this one on FB


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