Mark Boyle

Mark Boyle

Mark Boyle is founder of The Freeconomy Community. www.justfortheloveofit.org

I am now seven months into my experiment of living without money and fossil fuels for a year, and my journey so far has been fascinating. When I first decided to go money-free last year, I set about putting in place the basic infrastructure I would need to survive. The first essential part of this jigsaw was shelter. For this I turned to an amazing project called Freecycle, and through it I found a caravan that someone else didn’t want any more.

This is the big question I found myself pondering one evening three years ago. I'd just spent four years studying economics – a period during which I hadn't once heard the term 'ecology' – having signed up for the course with the intention of earning as much money as possible. That was until, in my final year, I read a book about Gandhi which convinced me to put my training to use in the organic food industry, instead of the world of high finance.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE To tell how far down a certain path you’ll walk once you’ve taken that vital first step. Ten months ago I decided that I was going to live as oil-free a life as possible. Originally this consisted of me using no plastic, only buying products from local craftspeople, having no bin and eating nothing but local, organic and vegan food.