Sustainable Living in Charlottesville

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A Charlottesville couple has created a lifestyle that aims to protect the environment and live a sustainable life, using less and working for goods.

Nathan Hanley and his fiancee, Tenzin Namdol, spent three months living in a small teardrop camper looking for a town to settle in.

"It's a really beautiful way to travel," Namdol said.

Hanley built the camper complete with a sink, a bed for two and electricity powered by a solar panel.

"The solar panel is efficient to charge the battery enough to have a light, a fan and maybe watch a movie at night," Hanley said.

The idea is to live a sustainable lifestyle with less.

"I think what I've learned from traveling in this box for a couple months is how little we can use on a daily basis and be okay and be happy," Namdol said.

Since January, the couple has lived in Charlottesville and is renting a room in a house. Namdol works as a nanny while Hanley takes jobs at farms working, not for cash, but for goods including beef, honey and soap.

"I come home with more meat than I can eat in two weeks. I'm trying to figure out who I can trade this awesome meat in town for other things," Hanley said.

Hanley knows not everything can be bought with a trade. He builds and sells raised garden beds.

"It's a nice easy project that I can provide for people that don't have basic carpentry skills or have the time to do it," Hanley said.

Hanley says bartering goods isn't always easy, but he has been able to trade eggs for coffee at an independent store.