Emptying the toilet, filling up with water, charging the batteries, going to the laundrette, keeping the fuel stocked up, lighting the stove, trips to recycling points, moving the boat every couple of weeks... Living afloat is not just a high-maintenance lifestyle, it's like adding a part-time job to your life.
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If you're serious about living as close to the earth as possible, living on a boat is a good step. Our ecological impact is lower than that of a house, although we tend to depend pretty heavily on fossil fuels: coal, gas, diesel. A few conscious choices can reduce the ecological impact of living on board and save you quite a bit of money in the process.
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If boaters had a university it would have a Faculty of Firelighting and we'd duke it out in the corridors on 'how it should be done'. Here's one way of lighting a long-lasting, low-cost fire in a stove using smokeless coal. Other opinions are also available.
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