Ward House

Sustainable Living

Big words that have a different meaning depending to whom you speak. When the company one works for goes through a reorganization, your job is saved yet you know there are no rasies or other bonus cash coming in, it causes one to rethink what is necessary and what can be done without.

Bath County is isolated from many problems that seem to plague larger communities – oppressive heat, crime, water shortages, etc. We, it seems, are not isolated from the economic tragedies that are evident in communities around us. The Homestead Preserve (the company I work for) annouced yesterday that we are reorganizing, consolidating and streamlining the organization. Not always a bad thing, unless you are one of the ones let go. Fortunately my job, with me in it, was kept. Others were not so fortunate.

With this in mind, I have felt an increasing, well perhaps more of a pressure in my heart, to become more self sustaining; teach the girls how to live, use less and leave a smaller impression on the earth. Do not ask me where this drive is coming from – we do not have tv so I know it is not something I am hearing via traditional media. The constant drone of technology is quieted (as I sit at my computer!), it is amazing what one hears. Aunt Margaret gave me this book, Idiots Guide to Green Living, and in the very front was this quote by Edgar Mitchell. I think it sums it up.
“In the twentieth centruy, we accelerated with the power of science and our technology into a nonsustainable civilization. Our most immediate threat is what we’re doing to ourselves because of our ignorance and unwillingness as nations and individuals to confront the environmental problems. To confront the excesses of our civilization, of non renewable resources and pollutions, threats of garbage piling up and our oceans being polluted. The big problem is in the fact that we in the western world are wed to our consumption patterns; that more is better and money is the only real value that can make you happy. It’s simply not true. We have to change our thinking pattern and our approach to this if we are to survive.
“Our problem is learning simplicity. How many new automobiles do we need? How much is necessary to live a productive life? Money is not the source of our happiness. We know that happiness is an internal state – it is not brought about my material goods. Greed is a part of our problem – it is driving our economic system worldwide and it’s just wrong. We have to go back and find our internal state of our heart and mind and central well-being; that is where the answers really lie. We need to learn to live in harmony with nature as opposed to conquest.
“The first thing is to become aware, to become educated to realize that all the talk of environmentalism is ground in reality. The old solution was we can mess it up and God will clean it up, but I haven’t seen God cleaning it up. We have to do it ourselves. We have to protect our enfirnment and live in harmony with our environment.” Mr. Mitchell was an Apollo 14 astronaut; he has a unique perspective – seen the earth and the universe in 3D from his spacecraft window!

Being off the grid as much as possible has become very pressing. This summer/fall we will be picking berries, the garden, canning and I hope to have a wood furnace installed (the outside kind).

Ok, now off to work! Ciao. =)

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June 24, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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