Sooner or later, one way or another, climate change concerns you. Including how you do your part.
The focus of this blog is, of course, energetic literacy and deeper perception. This guest post is more related to lifestyle, and how one of our Blog-Buddies uses what she perceives and believes to walk her talk. I thought this might be an interesting guest post to share with you. It doesnt necessarily match my own experience and views. Thats a good thing. Because where deeper perception leads you is personal.
And personally I was fascinated by this guest post.
What I Have Learned about Climate Change
In 2005, I moved to an ecovillage in Missouri for two years: a demonstration community called Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where people are experimenting with designing a sustainable lifestyle.
At Dancing Rabbit (DR) 50+ people live in naturally built homes, use a car co-op, grow and raise as much of their own food as possible, compost their own waste, use wind/solar power, and choose to limit air travel as much as possible.
They make decisions by consensus, and while they do not share income, they attempt to share resources and support each other as much as possible. Neighbors get together for work parties to help each other with projects. Their aim is to grow to be the size of a small town, eventually switching to a town council form of government.
After two years, I left the community
It was too difficult for me to make a living there, and it was too difficult for me as an unskilled empath (at the time) to live so closely with other people.
I would also have to say that in many ways the community was not radical enough for me.
Prior to moving to DR, I visited Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland and fell in love with that community. My perception was that people there were on a higher spiritual level of vibration.
There was a much more pragmatic/logical bent at DR not that it doesnt have its share of spiritual seekers. But what I came to realize is this: in order to create new ways of living together, we need to change ourselves first…
Enter Rosetree Energy Spirituality…
How I help the environment while living on my own
I still have close ties to the DR community, and I very much respect their sincere attempt to create a new model for how Americans can live — both sustainably and joyfully.
I still miss many things about that creative community. And I did learn a lot about what sort of changes will need to be made to avert climate change.
Here are changes Ive made in my own life
- I choose not to drive a car.
- I live in a city with good public transit, by choice.
- I rideshare with coworkers.
- I choose to live close to where I work.
- I advocate for public transit and attend local meetings related to public transit.
- I sign petitions and give money to groups that advocate public transit.
- I try to limit my airfare.
- If possible, I take a train when I travel.
- I support groups that promote cycling, and that promote city design friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.
One of the reasons I feel so strongly about this is because I think that cities which have no alternative means of transportation will have a lot of troubles when the oil supply runs out. And I think that our need for oil is the reason behind many of our wars. But the other reason is because cities which are designed for cars dont promote human health and happiness.
Promoting human health and happiness
I support groups like Placemaking (website below) because I believe strongly that the way that we design our houses, neighborhoods, communities and cities has a very strong influence on the kind of activities that they encourage.
- We can create distant, stark, and cold places (think, big box stores, gargantuan car parks, 5-lane highways) that promote isolation and fragmentation.
- Or we can choose to create human-scale spaces that promote cooperation, warmth, beauty, and social interaction. (Think narrow tree-lined streets in Europe with sidewalk cafes, small homes, independent businesses, restaurants and parks all mixed together, and people out walking together.)
I support independent, local businesses. I want the money I make to enrich my own community, not impersonal big businesses across the country.
Also I research nonprofit organizations in my city and support them by volunteering or donating money or promoting them on social media.
Making a commitment to the environment
I know how to grow my own food. And cook my own food. I know how to cook using a wood stove and how to can food.
Although I live in the city now and dont have a garden, I buy my produce from the farmers market. That way my food doesnt have to travel thousands of miles to reach me. And my money supports organic farmers in my community.
I choose locally-produced food whenever possible. I buy meat from the farmer’s market also — so that I know how the animals I’m eating were raised.
I consider all purchases carefully. Do I really need to buy it? How will it eventually be disposed of? How much energy does it use? Is there a way that I can rent instead of buy? Or can I share my use of that purchase with someone else?
It makes no sense for everyone in a neighborhood to own a lawn mower or power tools items that people use only a few times a month. I use online services like Freecycle and Craigslist to get rid of things I no longer need, or give them to charity organizations.
Where we live? That matters.
I live in shared housing. If I could afford it, I would live in a co-housing community a community where people live in small individual dwellings but share a kitchen and other common spaces and live cooperatively.
I talk to my neighbors when I can. If our society crashes, people will need to work together. Wont that be easier if they already know each other?
If I had a yard, I would plant food for bees, and other wildlife, and I would not use pesticides. Since I don’t have a yard, I support organizations that are working to restore biodiversity.
I use natural productsso I am not adding more chemicals to the water supply. I bring cloth bags with me everywhere. You never know when you might need to buy groceries or carry things home.
I learn other languages and I learn about other cultures. I try to make friends with people from different backgrounds.
This might not seem related, but I think it is. Climate change is a global problem. How can we hope to influence the way people in our country or other countries think if we cant even talk to them? It matters that we understand their concerns?
And what is our world going to be like if everyone in China, India, and other countries chooses to live a super-sized, resource-intensive, environment-destroying life like many Americans?
I am still working out for myself, what I can do to avert climate change. What I am sure of is that ultimately what is best for the planet is also best for people and for the economy.
Change will come, I believe. Either it will be change that is forced upon us by climate change or else it can be change that we undertake willingly. People have a much greater capacity for cooperation and creative solutions than we realize.
Books I recommend
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
What’s the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It’s Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness by David Batger
The Rule of Nobody: Saving America From Dead Laws and Broken Government by Philip Howard
The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the New Communion with Nature by William Jordan
Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander
Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back by Andrew Zolli (I dont think this is a great book, but it does discuss an important concept.)
Websites I recommend