Friday, October 15, 2010

What Keeps You From Living A Sustainable Life?

I try piece by piece to make my life more in line with nature. But that sounds so cliche', and defining a sustainable lifestyle is not totally cut and dry. There are variations, nuances, and debates as to what a truly natural lifestyle is...
but by your own definition (which I'd love if you'd share too) what is the thing that most keeps you from being able to fully partake, live, and love a sustainable, earth aligned life?
For me there are many more things I would like to do to be light footed on this planet. Not because I think the earth won't ever recover from our mistakes but because it feels right, it is something I can pass on to the people who will be born long after I die. Less pollution for their bodies, less disease for all living things. I can pass on cleaner water and fresher air.
Here is my list::::
  • I would like to be off electricity, off grid (aka i want solar panels or a complete non electric set up).
  • I would like to have classes on identifying all native plants in my area.
  • I would like to learn to hunt for protein foods (aka, less grocery dependence).
Here is what keeps me from having accomplished these goals::::
  • MONEY .... solar panels cost big bucks
  • money.... no seems to teach this shit for free
  • Money..... ditto from above
Tell me your lists and thoughts, what is your biggest obstacle? If it's money, tell me your second biggest too!


Grant said...

I want to finish college, which means I'm stuck in an urban world for at least the next few years.

Amber said...

Dear Leslie,

I discovered your blog recently and have enjoyed reading it so much. It's an absolute delight and I think you are wonderful! :)

I do my best to live as sustainably as I can, as a renter in a medium sized city.

I would love nothing more than to trick out a permaculture small holding in a more rural/small town setting, but at this point money is definitely the largest obstacle. That's the goal I'm working towards for sure though and hope to get there one sustainable baby step at a time. :)

I love the story of how you found your cabin but I've been drawing mental pictures of the place I'd like to be!

Cheers from Canada!

Amber said...

Ooops! That 'but' in the last sentence should be 'and'.

Joyful Living said...

I think getting there - to the ultimate in living off the grid is a process. You start one foot, rung at a time. Nobody gets there in quantum leaps. It's a matter of timing, tenacity and karma combined.

Being grateful for what is, bringing more abundance into our lives through gracious living - helping, loving, sharing - all bring in that energy so we can materialize our needs and desires.

Nothing is preventing us from living our dreams - only maybe not knowing the rules of life.

Vicky said...

My biggest obstacle is that I don't want to do it by myself. My family and friends are just not interested in sustainable living.

Thor29 said...

I don't think solar panels fit the definition of sustainable - it takes a lot of mining and fossil fuel burning to produce solar panels, batteries, and all the products that run on electricity.

Money means you are part of an unsustainable system. If you have any, you are most likely doing something that cannot be sustained into the future. Just think about all the systems that support the use of the dollar, including the Fed and the US military.

It's still a good thing to reduce your impact. I salute those who try to grow their own food and live closer to nature. My excuse for not doing so is that it takes a community of people to truly make it work and I have no friends or family who have the interest or the resources to make it happen.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Grant --->
Out of curiosity, what are you going to college for? I never did finish college due to some learning disabilities, but i never was a fan of school, and now with the economy the way it is, i am always curious about what people are going to college for these days?

Amber :::
I know some believe money should not be an obstacle but we do exsist in this modern world, and it is largely inhabited by people using money- so it takes alot of creative thinking, time and trading to do anything wihtout money. Also a person has to be educated in all the ways to sustain oneself to not need money.
I have read many stories about people living with no money, but enevitibly they are living off other people's money by dumpter diving and taking things someone else bought for free.
PS_ draw a real picture of the place you want... i swear it works everytime. It's how i got here.

JOyful Living ...
I am with you, it is a one rung at a time process. You can't throw someone totally ignorant of how to curvive off the land into the woods and expect them to know what to do, It's a learning process. Another thing is a a reversal process too, of UNlearning all the ways we are spoiled and have been living on grid.
And personally i was always interested in nature, and wanted to live this way, but it was a step by step letting go, learning and unlearning.
The baby won't walk till it's crawled first. :)

Vicky -
I won't lie, doing it by yourself is not easy. But i am doing it by myself.
I get help here and there but, the actual living part I am doing on my own. Don't let alone-ness stop you from living your dream. Once you start living it, people will be attracted to it and start showing up.
I have more family & friends and visitors now then i have had in my life!

Hey Thor29!
I agree that money is the end is not sustainable, but like i was syaing above, people need to aquire and learn the skillz needed to back out of a system they were born and raised in. Had we all been raised to learn how to survive in the woods we would laugh in the face of money --- but there is alot of un-doing that has to take pplace for the modern person to become sustainable.
Which is why i think even pushing the smallest steps, agenda towards lightening the impast is a good thing. If you told people they were not doing enough they might give up.
I know for me, i could not have been thrown out into these woods ten years ago and told to survive the way i do... i had to find people to teach me how to split logs, use certain tools, build things, how to find and use natural materials..... learning from scratch. That took almost ten years to get to this stage. I don't think it has to take that long, but if you are not paying $$$, and are waiting for people to come along one by one and teach, it just may take a while.

I do think a community is helpful, but i do it by myself for the most part and dont live with a community. It just has to be planned differently.

From Facebook said...

I like this discussions o much I wanted to share what people shared on facebook:::

M ---
Leslie, you need to look at Harbor freight, they had solar panels for 150$ and while that isn't nothing, that's still kinda cheap...

If sustainable is defined as a life that is acceptable for the Earth when multiplied by the current 7 billion or future 9-10 billion, then you and I are there. The destruction of the Earth really is driven by a society with a few dominant c...haracters - a consumer-based, investor/supply/marketing-driven economy, suburban sprawl, daily automobile commuting, heavy meat consumption, heavy coal burning to feed castle houses and castle stores, and gross waste of minerals, fibers, and foods in the material economy. Opt out of, or opt into, that machine, and everything else is tinkering around the edges.

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