I was talking with a friend the other day about how excited I am that (maybe hopefully probably) a lot of people will be moving here between now and next Spring (a lot being eight adults by my last count). She said that she just hopes that the village doesn’t lose sight of our environmental goals, that we continue to be something worth modeling to the outside world.
I totally agree with that statement, and yet I realized that I rarely write about the environmental stuff here. My goals for this blog are to get people to move here because they realize that this place has the answers to so many problems of modern society. It’s also a place for me to work through (in a strange and public way) things that I am dealing with here.
And I guess that I don’t really have to deal with the eco stuff the way that I have to deal with the people stuff.
We sold our two cars as soon as we could, and I don’t miss them one little bit. We take one extravagant trip to the local store, about three miles away, once a week to buy butter, cheese, canned salmon, expired yogurt when they have the good stuff, and two ice creams that don’t really contain any cream at all. Besides that, we carpool to homeschool and piano lessons. I don’t feel that need to define freedom by the open road and a tank full of gas. I don’t care if I can’t go get Mexican take-out or a drive-through coffee. Yeah, I might partake when I leave to visit family, but it’s barely something I miss here–definitely not a complicated issue that I have to write about just to know what I think.
We use as little water as we can by washing dishes by hand, waiting to do laundry until our clothes really need it, and showering a few times a week or less. The kids have even done their part by only showering once since the beginning of the summer! I don’t miss taking dirty dishes out of the washing machine only to put them back in again (to take them out still dirty to put them in again….) I’ll admit that we have a pretty sweet set-up here–living in one of the few houses with running water. But even when we were hauling water it wasn’t a huge deal. It was inconvenient, but again, not so complicated that I needed to write through it just to know how to deal.
Pooping in a bucket has become totally normal. Peeing outside is a joy (until it gets super cold out). Honestly, even emptying the poop buckets and washing them out, while it isn’t fun, isn’t exactly complicated either.
We live in a straw bale house that I played no role in building, which uses passive solar and wood for heating and solar panels for electricity and hot water. It’s really comfortable and beautiful and I don’t need to work through any complexities there for sure.
I’ll readily admit that I love having the covenants and guidelines–I make enough decisions in my life, and I just want someone to tell me what to do in some areas of my life. Can’t have a personal vehicle? Fine. No fossil fuels for domestic uses? Sounds good. Only reclaimed or sustainably harvested wood? You’ve done the research, you tell me.
I will happily follow the rules that have been so well thought-out by other people.
I don’t always feel like I am doing enough, though. Especially when I see all of the suffering around the world, and I realize how much of it is caused by the climate change brought on by so many luxuries of first world countries.
But I am doing better on the eco front than I ever have before, and that is something to be proud of for sure.