Future Applications

This week has flown by and has taught me a lot.  I realized how simple it can be to cut back on meat consumption (dairy not so much).  I had meat 1 out of the 5 days, which is about 4 less days than I normally would.  I took shorter showers and carpooled to golf.  Unfortunately, I think I had an overall negative impact on the environment due to the amount of time using lights and my computer.  But I definitely cut back tremendously on my normal consumption.  This week may have been a small negative impact on the environment on my part, but it has had a big positive impact for myself.  I greatly enjoyed reflecting on my days and learned a lot about my habits.  I think I can take what I have learned about myself and change a few of the negative habits.  Another side-effect occurred when I was talking with my parents about the week.

The Side-Effect:

Prior to this week, my family has leased out land on our farm to conventional farmers. My father and I had a long discussion about the direction we could take our farm in North Carolina.  I explained how important sustainability is with my Dad and one thing led to another.  My Dad eventually agreed with me about sustainability and he now has found a Professor at Warren Wilson College that wants to grow food sustainably on our land.  We are also putting in solar panels to take the farm completely off the grid.  This was a big side-effect from the week and I think the ripples that Dr. Aguilar mentioned about turned into a wave in my family.

Ben Cole


  1. Ben! Thanks for sharing this story. I’m so glad to hear about the farm. It really makes me happy….and I think you are right about this being a great example of an idea leading to something bigger! Good luck with future applications!

  2. I am so glad that this experience and course have helped you and your family realize where you want your farm to be headed. This week was tough for all of us, but hearing things like this make it seem worth it. And even though you had mentioned that you had a negative impact, being able to recognize your impact is such a big step. Great job!

  3. That is so awesome that you and your family are working together to make the farm more sustainable. I was shocked when I read the part about putting solar panels in to help take the farm off the grid, that is something you don’t hear about everyday. I hope everything keeps working out and moving forward towards more sustainable farming.

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