A year and a half ago, Jo Nemeth gave his life a 180 degree turn: he decided to live without money and, therefore, without consumption , to reduce his ecological footprint (the impact that our actions have on the environment) and demonstrate This way, it is not only possible to stay without income, but also, not bad at all. “Sometimes they push me to come back to life with money, but I do not want to, I like to live like that,” says Nemeth.
In January 2015, the 47-year-old Australian said goodbye to her job as coordinator of a community development program. He left the flat he rented with his then partner and daughter, and moved to a friend’s farm. “I liked my job, it was only 20 hours a week and I received a good salary. Even so, I lived very overwhelmed, always ran from one place to another, I had trouble paying the bills of the house … this did not handle well and, in the end, it was a stress, “he explains.
In the decision to lead a simple life, we also weighed the environmental impact implied by all consumer-oriented activities: from the purchase of food and clothing, the transport of fuel or the use of non-renewable energy. “Anyway, my money was contributing to the destruction of the planet and to worsen not only the situation of the environment, but that of all the people who suffer at the expense of the huge amount of resources that the West demands to produce everything we consume. Every time I spent money I felt terrible, so I decided to stop doing it, “says Nemeth.
He founded a rule : he would not consume anything that was exclusively for his own benefit, but he would take advantage of those products that had already been acquired. She says to herself “food opportunist”. He eats what he grows on the farm, and what his neighbors and friends waste. “I’m not averse to anything. If they buy tea that they do not like later and throw it away, I take it and, thus, I make better use of a resource that has already been consumed. “
It is supplied with water from the rain and the river that it stores in a reservoir. It uses energy thanks to a portable solar panel that it acquired before the change and that goes with it to all parts. This provides enough power to charge your mobile and laptop, technologies you have not given up. Although he enjoys a prepaid mobile line, which is run by a friend of his, he does not have access to the internet. He connects from the houses of his acquaintances and from there writes his blog jolowimpact.wordpress.com, in which he tells his experience and encourages others to reduce their environmental footprint.
To move, hitchhike . “The fuel that uses a car will spend it equally, so the environmental impact has already occurred,” explains Nemeth, adding: “Even many drivers are grateful to hitchhikers because they make them feel better by amortizing more fuel employee”. At the same time “it avoids the consumption that would involve using another motor vehicle, and that would have new ecological consequences,” he adds.
Some people have offered to pay for their plane tickets, but she rejected them because of the important carbon footprint of air transport. “Being an island, it is common to travel to Asia by yacht, and my intention is to get on one of those boats,” explains the Australian. However, it is faced with the obstacle of the necessary passports and visas to visit other countries that are paid.
Nemeth faces numerous criticisms that, above all, come from social networks . “They call me vague, and they say I should pay taxes. Sometimes I wonder if they will be right, but I think I’m just doing something positive for the environment. ” On the other hand, her acquaintances support her and, in many cases, offer her money and food. “Something very important that I have learned is how generous people are. Sometimes I have to refuse help, because I just do not need it, “he says.
Another important chapter is that of health . At 47 years of age, and after suffering from skin cancer, he needs to be alert in case any other problem arises. Although Social Security covers medical consultations, it excludes those of specialists. “In this last year and a half I have only gone to the doctor three times, and it has been free. In case I had to see a specialist, I probably have the help of my friends, but I would not like to depend on them, “says Nemeth.
Meanwhile, she enjoys her time . Every day, he spends a few minutes on earth, visits, reads, writes … “It’s a very easy life. I think that is how many would like to live, but they do not, because they believe that giving up money also means giving up comfort, and that is not the case, “he concludes.