Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

Archive for the ‘Saving the world’ Category

Reading: Worldchanging

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While most of the reading I do now is for my dissertation – theory and tech stuff, oh my –  I also tend to have a variety of other books on the go that tie in with my dreams of a simpler, hopefully more rural life.  One of the broader issues that I’m concerned with is the environment, both on its own and in terms of its links to other big issues (more on this later, probably).  Environmental destruction means less land to work with throughout the world, as well as much more difficult and unpredictable conditions for growing food and caring for livestock, along with a whole range of other scary stuff.

The main book that I’ve been working through recently is Worldchanging (they also have a great website here).  Focusing on environmental issues and their solutions, it has a lot of interesting ideas and perspectives.  Admittedly, some of them might be more resource intensive than is really viable now or even in the future (just because something is environmentally friendly once it is made doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cost a lot in the way of resources to make), but they do range from the really simple to the really high-tech, and I appreciate that they cover so much ground.

When I read the first chapter, I’ll ‘fess up that I cried.  The scenarios described – environmental destruction, the consequences, and the difficulty in dealing with our current situation, let alone where we seem to be headed – were horrifying at best.  I curled up in bed and let loose for awhile because it does seem to be beyond dire in more ways than I care to count.  Sometimes a girl just need a good cry about the state of the world.

Somewhat more happily, the rest of the book is focused on a huge range of solutions, projects, designs and ideas that just might help and, as a result, does offer some hope to counter what is a pretty dire situation.  While my faith is still somewhat tenuous – I think we need significantly more drastic measures than most people would like to consider in order to make any kind of reasonable, sustainable long-term environmental impact – I can’t deny that I appreciate the hope that it can give.  Not only are people thinking about and concerned with the issues, but that they’re actively seeking solutions for them, and that some of these solutions are ones that I can use in my own life as I move forward towards greater sustainability.

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Written by Jenn

May 29, 2010 at 1:13 am

Posted in Reading list, Saving the world

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This place

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What is this place?

This place is…well…it’s a few things, some of which I’m still trying to wrap my head around.  See, I have this dream.  In the midst of researching and writing a dissertation, working for a university, and trying to keep up with the rigors of daily life, I find myself waylaid – on an increasingly frequent and regular basis – by farming fantasies.  I have dreams of cabbage and chickens, snow peas and sheep, and evening firefly-lit guitar and fiddle sessions on a porch with homemade ginger beer.  And no, I don’t even play the fiddle (yet) – why do you ask?

Right now, the dream seems somewhat far away, even feel somewhat unreachable at times.  There is much to do for school and work, at least for the next year.  There are costs to be considered, and practicalities.  There are also the needs and wants of The Boy, fiancée and soon-to-be husband extrordinaire.  Coupled with my current living space – a small inexpensive apartment with insufficient winter heating and insulation in a somewhat questionable neighbourhood (see: inexpensive) – things are sometimes discouraging.

I am, however, not one to stay discouraged for long.  And, of course, by “not one to stay discouraged for long” I actually mean, “I am one seriously stubborn individual and, come hell or high water I will make this work somehow, so ha!”

The making it work bit is really where this blog is headed.  While this apartment isn’t an urban homestead yet, I want to get moving in that direction.  There are some things that I imagine simply won’t be possible – chickens or bigger livestock, for instance.  But with some creativity and a bit of ingenuity, I plan to keep on making small changes and taking small steps towards an increasingly sustainable life within my little space in the city.  So, this virtual space is my little wanna-be homestead on the web – a place to write,  analyse, and keep track of what’s going on in the place that I’m currently occupying, as well as thinking about the place I want for the future.

Written by Jenn

May 25, 2010 at 6:45 am