If you haven’t been weightlifting lately you may want to go work out first, because this is about to get heavy.
Except right now I do actually have a serious blog post for you (please don’t hate me).
As a group our professor asked us to come up with definitions for “sustainability” and “eco-village,” because apparently we’re actually supposed to think while we’re here.
(If you can’t find yours I suggest you go to your nearest animal shelter and adopt one.)
So here goes nothing:
Sustainability is an intentional movement that challenges us to respect people, nature, and ourselves. It begins with self-consciousness of our impact on the environment around us. This requires a personal assessment of our needs versus wants in relation to how we treat the environment. Today we focus on our personal gain as we strive for ceaseless economic growth without regards to environmental cost. Due to our constant consumption we have lost sight of the intrinsic value of nature. To regain the insight we are missing, there must be a reconnection made between ourselves and the Earth. Seeing the two as interconnected will create a balance in the world moving forward.
This loss of connection is not only with the plants and animals, but with people as well. We need to become active participants who work with nature instead of making nature work for us without regard to how nature has been degraded in the process. It involves the well-being of all living creatures, therefore it asks for a focus on both environmental and social justice. By tying these two concepts together we make a change from an individualistic world to a cohesive community. When we are present our awareness for nature grows, and thus we see how we impact the world around us.
Sustainability is a complex problem and requires creative solutions because the means to the ends matter, this process is not just for us, the solutions need to be able to last and make an impact for the next seven generations. Due to the intricate nature of sustainability, clear communication will be vital to ensure that ideas become actions as they spread. We need to understand that the lifestyle we are accustomed to will change as a push for sustainability incorporates self-sacrifice.
In our day to day lives we are blind to these connections in the world around us. By shifting our thinking from wastefulness to conservation we will create a sustainable infrastructure in the world around us.
The main idea of an ecovillage is to create an environment in which all members are advocates for nature by creating community with one another. Communication and acceptance for all morals and ideas are essential to carry out sustainable projects. Everyone has to contribute to the overarching well-being of the community as a whole.
These actions include: strong communications skills, helping with neighborhood chores, and striving for an eco-friendly village. The goal of an ecovillage is to promote progress, but not necessarily growth in the current traditional economic, social, and cultural sense.
An ecovillage is striving to integrate old-style communal values that do not depend on the modern day social construct. We need to get back to codependence, the idea of receiving and sharing. This allows for the implementation of a gift-circle where we can help meet the needs of others, moving away from self-centeredness towards symbiosis. This will, in theory, create a ripple effect that will transition us from eco-conscious to eco-active. In doing so, we have the opportunity to teach others and share our skills.
To run effectively this will require some form of organization and leadership as eco-villages encompass economic, social, cultural, and ecological measures of life. While eco-villages do have a lot of procedural rules, they also focus on creativity and building a community of understanding and respect for new ideas and views. We must open their minds to new perspectives and ways of living as residence in an eco-village asks for a certain amount of adaptability and compromise. We need to strive to have the ability to provide for ourselves by growing our nutritional needs and living off of the public grid. Not only does this involve action, but also education for members and the larger human community as a whole.
Living within the village provides for a support structure and a broader sense of family. If we could get this lifestyle to spread, it would have the potential to create a sustainable world.
Tomorrow we can talk about some more heavy stuff! YAY!
But right now my brain needs to think some things about saving the planet and my life direction and all those normal Thursday evening conundrums.
Hugs from across the ocean❤
Live, laugh, love, bake,
Marley and Tea
P.S. Always give in to your wanderlust.