Monday, January 23, 2012

A year toward sustainability

I'm not a resolution-maker.

In fact, I don't think I have ever made a New Year's resolution.

I'm rebellious like that, sometimes.  But really, what is the one thing that always comes up when people talk about resolutions?

Breaking them, of course.

I really hate to fail.  I mean, I do it all the time, like everyone else...but why set myself up?  It almost seems like a tradition of failure.  No thanks; I'll pass on that one.

So.  My new "year toward sustainability" project is NOT a New Year's Resolution.

Now that we've cleared that up, here's the deal.

My husband and I want to live in a hobbit hole.  Non-Tolkien-nerds might refer to it as an earth-sheltered home (with a round door).  You can get the idea here and here.  We'd love to have some land, with a big garden, an orchard, some chickens, a mini cow.  Maybe some alpacas and some solar panels, too - something like this.

I have a lot of wild and doubtless unpopular ideas about how the Industrial Revolution was a bad idea; how feminism and the Industrial Revolution fed off each other, and how many ills both have produced in our society.  Industrialization has wreaked havoc on families, health, and all of creation.

I live in a suburb of a major city.  I like my city - a lot.  It's beautiful, there's a lot to do, good neighbors.  But as I sit in traffic, watching hundreds of other cars burning fuel, watching all the city lights burning fuel, thinking of all the computers and refrigerators and furnaces and air's mind boggling, how much power just one city consumes. How long can it be sustained?

Then I go home, and I get most of my food out of boxes or plastic wrappers.  I don't really even buy much convenience food - I'm not militant or anything but I like to keep it pretty basic.  We recycle - which is probably a good thing, since we fill up two big recycling cans every two weeks.  That's a lot of boxes, cans, and wrappers - for just one family.

I don't like it.  I always mean to do something about it.

I figure that if we want to have our hobbit hole and be a bit more on the self-sufficient side someday, there are some skills and habits I may as well acquire now.  There are things I could do now that would reduce my dependency on this whole system.  There are so many things I could do that I freeze up, and don't really change much of anything.

This year, I want to make little changes, learn new skills, one at a time.  Maybe I will actually start using my yogurt maker instead of buying endless little containers of Yoplait.  Maybe I will get off my duff and go back to cloth diapers (maybe).  Maybe I'll learn about square foot gardening, or buy a canner as I've threatened to do for years, or learn to make cheese.

Whatever I decide to do, I'll write it up here.  Here's to new adventures!

Linked up at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways

This post is linked to No Ordinary Blog Hop.

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