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Day 4: Ho-hum

I’ve had a lot of time for ho-hum today, here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about:

This project has made me think a lot about cities and regions where it is easiest to live sustainably and without waste, or where you need little resources to be comfortable and fulfill needs. Places where it is neither cold enough to need heat or warm enough to need AC, where there is a variety of nutritious foods grown year round, where biking/walking/public transportation are readily available and convenient, where there is a”green” culture and people want to do what’s right for the environment. Those cities are great, they’re setting a standard for other cities, leading by example. In my experience, those cities are also a bubble. When I am home in Washington it is easy for me to feel like everything is ‘right’ in the world and other places, more wasteful places don’t exist because the norm at home is that everyone composts, and brings their own bags to the grocery store and bikes to work. People are moving to these places for their “greenness” without demanding “greener” action where they’re from. Which is better, to move somewhere greener, or to stay and make your city greener? Or, are we not meant to live in places that can’t support us year round without excessive use of natural resources?

What makes one part of the country more environmentally conscious over another? I know the climate has a lot to do with it, but what about the culture of wanting to do better?

I also can’t understand why it is so hard for people to see the value in sustainability, not just monetary value but the inherent value to every person on the planet? Why would anyone want to get richer at the expense of someone else’s livelihood?

We talk about how living NI would be easier if we lived at home or if we lived in a city or if there were buses or whatever else. Sure, it would be easier, you could do more, but does that mean you shouldn’t try to live as NI as you can given your current resources? I am sure there are people that live in cities that seem to make it as easy as possible to live NI, yet still think it would be too hard to do it. If something is hard is it not worth doing?  Even given all the resources, will NI ever be convenient enough?

I’m having these thoughts sitting behind my newish computer, in a well-lit space, after just driving my car down to South quad. Clearly, there is more I can do to minimize my impact.

Moving forward I want to set goals that I know I can achieve, like not using paper towels and making a better effort to carpool… and walking down to South Quad. I also want to set goals that push my comfort zone, or purposefully not easy, like buying seasonal food, and eliminating plastics from my life as much as I can… and taking shorter showers.

Anyway, that was a lot of incoherent thoughts with no real conclusion, thanks for reading this far.

northr_j1

4 Comments

  1. It is really great of you to share such thought provoking questions from your ho hum time! I love to hear about these more sustainable cities and I have hope that cities like these will continue to thrive because of the thoughtfulness of our generation. It is very hard for people to accept change, especially in big cities but I think change for the better is in the horizon.

  2. This was a very thought provoking blog post. I experience the same frustration in terms of people not caring about sustainability. I am especially intrigued by the question of move somewhere sustainable or change where you live. You bring up a lot of good questions.

  3. I understand your questioning and I feel the same way. I think it is the people in certain locales that make the town/city/region so eco conscious. I used to live in Flagstaff AZ, a small city near the grand canyon. It is also a popular ski destination, having 5 mountains in the vicinity. I think because of the tourists (nature loving people) that came so often to visit, it has become eco friendly.

  4. I don’t think NI will ever be convenient. I think part of the goal is to change the aspects of your life that you can depending on your living situation. I think if I were home certain goals would be easier like food wise, but not transportation wise because I have to drive to get anywhere.

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