Lifestyle Report – as of Mar 2013

This is my third Report (since 2011…oops! I’ve been busy) as a way of assessing my successes, targets, improvements and areas I need to be more vigilant with when it comes to simple, ethical, environmentally sustainable and community living.

It might not be an interesting entry to read but it’s a way to keep myself accountable and constantly improving my lifestyle. NEW to this installment is the addition of my recent vegan ways.

I’ve highlighted positive changes in green and backwards steps red. So, as of today:

ETHICAL/SUSTAINABLE LIVING

• grocery shopping (with % of how often I do it)
became a vegan (Feb 2013)
— local green grocer for veg (75%)
— leftover bread free at end of baker business day (10% – eating less bread but not near bakery anymore);
— skip-dipping/dumpster diving (0% – slack but they are hard to find and I’m not really looking)
— major supermarket for all else (80%);
— Fair Trade where possible (tea, chocolate, recent clothing)
— organic where possible/affordable (25% – food, soap & shampoo)
— use Ethical Guide to boycott bad companies, GM food (50% – need more vigilance here);
— boycott food with known cruel processes (100% where known)
— food miles, locally produced (50%)
— meat consumption (0% of meals)
— dairy consumption (5% – just a couple of slips)

• grow own food (5-10% – tomatoes, eggplant, herbs)

• household shopping: I only buy new from store if I can’t get from op shop or build myself;
— purchased new in past year:
—– furniture (0%)
—– clothes (10%)
—–accessories (15%)
—– car (0%)

• home energy:
— electricity:
—– solar/renewable = no
—– aircon/heating (15%)
—– computer (off at night)
—– fridge (2/5 star rating)
—– dryer (0%);
— water:
—– rainwater tank (0% – no longer have one)
—– grey water for garden (15% – washing machine only)
—– shower avg. duration (5 mins)
—– garden (10%)
—– dishwasher (0%)
—– washing machine (top loader 2/5 star rating)

• waste:
— food scraps (100% goes to compost);
— wasted food (5%);
— recyclables like glass, paper, aluminium cans (95% to recycle bin, 5% kept for food/household storage);
— wasted paper (minimal use of printer, kitchen & recycled toilet paper)
— wood (90% saved for building material); haven’t built much now that I have what I need!
— white goods, electronics, equipment (10% – new stereo receiver);

Areas to Improve: fewer food miles; support local; buy organic if it makes sense & affordable; grow more of our own food; continue to consume less energy & town water. As it gets colder, it is tempting to use more heating but I’ll just have to be as resolute as possible and put on more clothes! Press onwards with vegan lifestyle.

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SIMPLE LIVING
• build most of my own furniture (lounge daybeds, coffee table, office desk, outdoor tables & seats)
• other furnishings have been donated (bed, futon, tv & DVD) or secondhand (kitchen table & chairs, office chair, rug);
• buy nothing that isn’t essential to the household or work
had to move stored furniture from Queensland to South Australia
• work less, spend more time connecting with friends & family; (has been a very busy past 3 years. Trying to find that work-life balance again)
• spend money on essentials, friends, charities;

Areas to Improve: connect more with real (not virtual) people

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ENVIRONMENTAL
• approx. annual carbon footprint (avg. based on lifestyle as of today): 7 tonnes of CO2 (Aus avg. 16 tonnes; world avg. 4 tonnes). This is not including my poor flight behavior below 😦
• car usage per month – approx 400kms ; mileage (approx 10kms/L)
• bus instead of drive (15%)
• ride/walk/skate instead of motor transport (10% – 15min walk to shops)
• return flights in past year – domestic (6), international (1); Unfortunately, the past couple of years have been baaad. Last year was mostly the flights during our tour around the country for our documentary film.

Areas to Improve: take fewer flights; walk/skate/bus more rather than car; use less electricity; aim for 7-8 tonnes/yr CO2

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COMMUNITY
• I now live with my wife so no more commuting to see one another; most friends are the same distance or closer now though
• intentional community living (share house or close living) = no
• share property or resources with community (some household items, driving, food with my wife’s best friend; borrow from other friends occasionally)
• collect hard rubbish from neighbourhood
• engage in conversation or help with mentally/physically challenged people in neighbourhood (0%)
• give to charities (monthly to: 1 x global aid, 1 x animal, 1 x activism organisation, 1 x community fund )
• volunteer with some friends’ and charitable projects
community gatherings for shared weekly meals and social activities

Areas to Improve: aim to achieve closer and more intentional community; share more resources; be more accepting of minority/disadvantaged; give more to charities; get more involved with meaningful & helpful projects

MARCH 2013 SUMMARY: overall, doing the right things still but still not socialising much due to workload. Some areas I can still be a bit more green. Would love to get more friends to jump onboard different aspects of sustainable, ethical or green living but am still trying to take the approach of “be the change you want to see in the world” however it is not always easy not to promote/preach, be judgmental or not be hypocritical…

“In vitro” lab-grown meat: the future of ethical meat-eating?

happy-cow

A week in to being a vegan and I haven’t been struggling at all with not eating meat…yet. Since my passion to go from being a full-blown carnivore to not wanting to have anything to do with meat or dairy stems from ethical and environmental reasons, it hasn’t been that hard to resist. However, those meaty flavors are what draws anyone in to eating meat, so I was wondering today if we made meat in a controlled lab setting, could that solve some of our global problems?

When I started researching online about lab-grown meat, it was more to see where progress was at with it as I knew that it was happening. I’ve seen a lot of mention of growing replacement body parts and organs of late (even a 3-D printed ear) so it seems logical that we can grow edible flesh using the same stem cells. The thinking here of course that you only need a few cells from an animal so it doesn’t need to sacrifice its life and the resulting meat has no nervous system therefore it cannot feel pain. If you must eat meat, I can see no other ethical option than this one.

The Wikipedia listing for “in vitro” meat is quite comprehensive and indicates that the process has been around for about 15 years and initially arose out of experiments NASA was doing for astronaut food in the 90’s. More recently, techniques are getting closer to simulating the taste and texture of real meat. CNN reports that several companies are saying they are ready to bring their research to a commercially viable product but they will require the infrastructure to bring the cost down which is prohibitively high right now. But it won’t be too long before the “engineered meat is likely to be more of a “niche” product, priced somewhere close to Kobe beef, which is currently around $125-$395 a kilo.”

Cost-aside, it is certainly heading in the right direction and while it will be a long process of getting people to accept eating manufactured meat, I reckon it is an inevitability. The meat industry is completely unsustainable and, “as well as animal welfare concerns over rearing large numbers of farm animals in close proximity, the water use, farmland for animal feed, waste and greenhouse-gas emissions associated with meat production make it one of the most significant environmental problems in the world today.” (CNN)

Ethically, I have no problem with this so long as animals aren’t harmed in the stem cell extraction process, and, the manufacturers of this product don’t go down the path of a Monsanto or other GMO-abusing companies whereby the resulting meat is compromised nutritionally or with safety concerns. Experts in tissue engineering indicate that since the meat is cultured in this manner, supposedly additional nutrients and things like Omega-3 could be added to it to make it more nutritional than regular meat. “Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn’t need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat.”

I think I would eat this meat if it passed food standards and suitability testing. However, there are a lot of purists (and by “purist” I mean anyone who is currently unwiling to drop meat from their diet) who will have a problem with the meat unless it looks, smells, tastes and feels like meat. Since we are in the early days of this tech, I reckon it’ll be possible to get there in due time. Hopefully we’ll get there soon enough to keep the world from succumbing to this desperate state we’ve put it in.

Until the frankenmeat comes, we’ll just have to stop eating meat and killing innocent animals, now won’t we? 😉

Off the rails…

Oh gosh, this year started so well with my vision, this blog and the wheels have come off in some regards, evidenced even further by my lack of recording this journey here. What started as an attempt to find a proper work-life balance – one where I worked about as much as I did my own personal projects and socialised more – has become one of the busiest years of my life, worsened by massive carbon-usage crimes and moving backwards in my sustainability vigilance.

What happened of course (as I’ve mentioned in my last couple of posts) is that I have been working on a documentary (which tend to be all-consuming of your time if you’ve done one before, especially on a miniscule budget) plus I have gotten engaged to be married. Well, those being the main things, with plenty of other things layered on top to ensure I don’t ever get weekends anymore.

I shouldn’t be totally hard on myself as the documentary I’m working on is intended on saving lives and raising awareness about the very important topic of human sex trafficking, but I’ve had to take two enormous excursions to SE Asia to shoot the movie, one requiring 18 flights between my business partner and I, the other 11 flights plus another 6 for a third person who flew in from the States. I’m guessing this film was responsible for around 80,000 kms flown this year 😦

Take away my eco-friendly, sustainability-conscious human being status….I relinquish my badge… 😦

I’ve been slightly saved by living with a very vigilant eco-warrior friend for the past 5 months. Without her, I surely would’ve gone for the easier routes of spending more, wasting more and living less-simply because I was so busy. And there’s the key I believe, the trap that most people probably fall into: being busy makes you want to take the shortest route to doing things in life, as you’re always trying to gain a few extra precious minutes in your day. If I were still living on my own, I probably would’ve used my aircon more cuz it is easier, I would’ve not been so fussy with composting and recycling and waste water management because all these things take a little extra time. Of course I would’ve known that by taking those spare extra minutes, I’d be contributing to making this world healthier, but when it comes down to it, we’re all self-absorbed and “I” come first. So the planet will just have to suffer a bit so that I have a bit more breathing room in my day.

So I feel a bit bad. Even though getting married doesn’t come around every day (I hope!), and making your first major documentary (on a budget where you have to work on the side in order to make ends meet cuz the film sure ain’t doing that) is something that takes a lot out of you, but then the first one is usually the hardest. Still, I didn’t want to become that person again. I know this busy period will pass, but I hate making excuses because in the end, that’s what everyone does and that’s why the planet is so fucked up in the first place (insert lots of unhappy faces here).

So I simply need to try harder, at risk of overburdening myself. To my credit, I have gone along with most things that my housemate has kept me to task doing, so that means we waste very little, re-use an awful lot, make hard-rubbish runs, eat some veggies she grows in the garden, use very little electricity (she’s a lightswitch Nazi) and read more cuz there’s no tv in this house (I know: unthinkable!). So, not completely blowing the sustainability plan or anything I guess.

In a little over a month, I’ll likely be in my new home, awaiting my wedding and then soon living with my wife who is also eco-minded (though maybe not quite as much as my current housemate). Still, life after the wedding should calm down a bit and we can refocus on restoring that life-work balance that I am aiming for, thus restoring the drive to be more conscious of simple and sustainable living. In the meantime, I’ll get my carbon credits paid, plant some trees, apologise to the Earth (cuz I already know of 3 potential flights I’ll be taking in the first half of 2012! …oh the shame….) and get on with being a good friend to this little fragile planet of ours.

Free energy will save our world

Poor planet Earth has so many problems with us humans as we plunder, ravage and abuse this green and blue sphere that we call “Mother”. Climate change is in full swing but worse than just increased earthquakes and dirty air is the fact that we simply cannot sustain ourselves with the amount of energy we use nor will we have enough clean water to drink in the foreseeable future (certainly some parts of the planets are far beyond this already).

What was needed was some directed thinking by some of the brightest minds in the world to come up with truly clean, limitless, sharable, cheap energy….and they may have done it! Watch this encouraging video from a presentation done at a TED event:

Be the change you want to see in the world

I love that quote by Gandhi; I have embraced it and strive to live by it but it’s surprisingly difficult. Not so much in the principle of it but rather the not-being-preachy-to-others part.

I try hard to live a simple life: happy with less needs, less “stuff”, less impact on this planet, less treating being financially successful like that’s the be-all, end-all of life. However, time and time again I need to be reminded that people will likely internally consider and respond to the subtle suggestion of observation of the way I conduct my life rather than having to explain why I think that the way they are doing things is wrong. If they see with their own eyes and in their own way how I respond to the challenges I face or handle certain lifestyle decisions and see that I am still happy (maybe less stressed, more free time, etc…) and functioning quite fine with less then perhaps they might want to consider incorporating some changes in their own life. Even if it has nothing to do with being personally happier as such, but seeing that I care about injustices, the world we live in plus the consideration for people around me, then the need to do something for the greater good might be inspiring in itself.

Even writing this down makes me feel preachy though. And a bit self-righteous. As if I am living the perfectly low-impact, community-centric, walking-with-the-poor, know-your-neighbor, self-sustaining lifestyle that I think everyone else should be striving for. I guess the aim of living this lifestyle that I believe in is that if there’s something — even if it’s just tiny — that makes someone reconsider something they could improve on in their own life, then the ball might start rolling to get more and more people beginning to change.

The reason for dwelling on these thoughts recently stemmed from my frustration the other night with hearing yet another self-absorbed person talking about how important and expensive their new car/house/furniture is, as if this is the most important part of their journey as a human being. I was frustratedly telling Heidi that I’d like to remind them of a few facts about how wasteful and shallow their consumer-driven, Earth-destroying lifestyle is, but she quickly reminded me of the risk of being labelled a hypocrite if even one thing in my life could be argued the same way (ie. driving a car, flying too much, using too many carbon emissions, living in a comfy house instead of under a tarp in the gutter, etc). Best to keep doing my best at what I’m trying to achieve and let examples of those actions give people some ideas.

Anyway, the very fact that I’m even writing this post is probably sounding hypocritical in its own right, but sometimes I just need to blather on to maybe make a point… 😀

Here; these guys say it really well and are being rather quite blunt about it!

Smart design: Solar windows

Hooray for smart people! This concept has been toyed-with by researchers for a couple of decades, but an Israeli group, Pythagoras Solar, has begun to sell their design that they have been working on the past 4 years.

The benefits to a solar window over the usual panels is that you have a triple-purpose element to your house whereby the sun’s heat is being shielded from entering the house but you are allowing light to enter as it normally would, and with added benefit of generating electricity at the same time. The added natural light means you use less electricity anyway, and the reduction of heat coming through the windows means less burden on insulation and cooling requirements inside the building.

With a financial recoup time of half that of normal solar panels, it’s looking to be a good investment.

As I personally think solar panels are ugly despite the great things they do, this to me seems like a much better option for anyone who likes natural light and to get “off the grid”! Good work Pythagoras!

Here’s an article from SmartPlanet that tells you more about the idea and company behind it.

Party-time! Tequila is a fab new bio-fuel option…

I thought this was a great article to share as the crop it addresses could be a game-changer in the bio-fuel industry. It’ll flood the world with tequila at the same time, but is that really a bad thing…?? 🙂

http://www.thegreenwayup.com/stories/making_tequila_tracks

(The Green Way Up guys raised money to drive a vehicle around the world using only bio-fuel; it’s a cool idea and worth checking out the other stuff they’re doing on this blog)

Swirly lifey stuff

I’m on the eve of my tenth move in 2 years, weary at the thought in principle but on further reflection, relishing the idea that I have very little “stuff” to actually move. What a change!

As recent as 2 months ago, I had to haul things I had in storage at a friend’s place in Brisbane over to another friend’s place (bless their hearts for being so kind to make room for my crap) which took a 1 1/2 ton truck and about 10 hours of my time to load and unload. This is of course stuff that I am not using, just towing about from one location to the next with consideration of using it at some point. Meanwhile, I have been successfully living my life for the past year and a half with none of it. Sure, I miss the odd thing like when I say “oh, I have a Breville in storage; would be good to have a toastie right now” or “my golf clubs are in storage,” but these things happen so infrequently as to not recall thinking of them moments later. So when I thought “oh here we go again, another bloomin’ move (substitute “bloomin” with a more colourful term), I was pleasantly surprised to find when I really thought about it, I have about 4 or 5 boxes of stuff, clothes and 4 or 5 items of furniture and that’s it. Easy. Yay!

Interestingly, I’m possibly moving out with my girlfriend’s friend (my beautiful Heidi is old-fashioned so we cannot live together yet and thus the living with her friend 🙂 ) who is very much a simple-living-eco-friendly-sustainability-loving-community-oriented person like I have become, which is a new experience for me. Perusing potential dwellings with someone who heads out to the backyard first to see where the veggie patch might go before looking at the house itself is different but refreshing; I like her priorities! After many years of looking at things through the standard lazy commercialised-living lens as many other people do, I’m truly starting to consider things like: hoping for rainwater tanks and solar panels on the property; how passive heating/cooling will work effectively in the house; what fruit trees exist on the land and how much space is there for growing veggies; ensuring there is opportunity for community gatherings and sharing meals with people; and making sure that shops are walkable/rideable to conserve fuel. Whereby I was quite happy to live alone until recently, I’m now reveling in the opportunity to live with someone else and develop a greater sense of community; something I’ve spoken about but not really put into practice yet. It’s quite exciting!

I’ll update when I find a new place and we’ll see how many of these new thoughts have been put into practice.

All of this moving comes amidst a push for funding on my human trafficking film which we’re starting to work on. My feelings about the environment and climate change became blurred when I was away looking at people dying or screwing up their lives from poverty, but I’ll save that for my next blog entry. G’night! 🙂

Lifestyle Report – as of May 2011

This is my second Report (since January’s) as a way of assessing my successes, targets, improvements and areas I need to be more vigilant with when it comes to simple, ethical, environmentally sustainable and community living.

It might not be an interesting entry to read but it’s a way to keep myself accountable and constantly improving my lifestyle.

I’ve highlighted positive changes in green and backwards steps red. So, as of today:

ETHICAL/SUSTAINABLE LIVING

• grocery shopping (with % of how often I do it)
— local green grocer for veg (60%)
— leftover bread free at end of baker business day (100%);
— skip-dipping/dumpster diving (0% but aiming to re-introduce it;
May: have been looking , but it’s hard to find anything in Adelaide)
— major supermarket for all else (100%);
— Fair Trade where possible (tea, chocolate, recent clothing)
— some organic (10% – food, soap & shampoo)
— use Ethical Guide to boycott bad companies, GM food (95%);
— boycott food with known cruel processes eg. veal (100% where known)
— food miles, locally produced (25%)
— meat consumption (15% of meals; May: this is mostly due to being poor)

• grow own food (not yet 0% but get some from friend 3%)

• household shopping: I only buy new from store if I can’t get from op shop or build myself;
— purchased new in past year:
—– furniture (0%)
—– clothes (10%)
—–accessories (15%)
—– car ( 0%)

• home energy:
— electricity:
—– solar/renewable = no
—– aircon/heating (10%)
—– computer (on 24/7, asleep when away & at night)
—– fridge (2/5 star rating)
—– dryer (0%)
—– water pump (everytime the tap is turned on);
— water:
—– rainwater tank (90%)
—– shower grey water for garden (0% May: stopped when I realised I didn’t have time to deal
with the garden and water is from tank anyway)
—– shower avg. duration (5 mins)
—– garden (0%)
—– dishwasher (0%)
—– washing machine (top loader 2/5 star rating)

• waste:
— food scraps (90%; goes to compost);
— wasted food (5%);
— recyclables like glass, paper, aluminium cans (95% to recycle bin, 5% kept for food/household storage);
— wasted paper (minimal use of printer, kitchen & recycled toilet paper)
— wood (90% saved for building material); May: haven’t built much now that I have what I need!
— white goods, electronics, equipment (0%);

Areas to Improve: fewer food miles; support local; buy organic if it makes sense & affordable (May: been very tight on cash the past few months so it’s hard to justify extra costs for organic sometimes); grow some own food; continue to consume less energy & town water. As it gets colder, it is tempting to use more heating but I’ll just have to be as resolute as possible and put on more clothes!

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SIMPLE LIVING
• build most of my own furniture (lounge daybeds, coffee table, office desk, outdoor tables & seats)
• other furnishings have been donated (bed, futon, tv & DVD) or secondhand (kitchen table & chairs, office chair, rug); May: acquired two wooden trestle tables and some deck chairs i hard rubbish
• buy nothing that isn’t essential to the household or work
• work less, spend more time connecting with friends & family; May: disappointed as work has been all-consuming for the last 3 months; on the positive side, a chunk of that is due to a doco I’ll be shooting soon which is about helping people in need, so I think that’s good.
• spend money on essentials, friends, charities; May: out of necessity, been spending very little on me

Areas to Improve: connect more with real (not virtual) people

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ENVIRONMENTAL
• approx. annual carbon footprint (avg. based on lifestyle as of today): 9.1 tonnes of CO2 (Aus avg. 16 tonnes; world avg. 4 tonnes)
• car usage per month – approx 300kms ; mileage (approx 10kms/L)
• bus instead of drive (15%)
• ride/walk/skate instead of motor transport (15% – 20min walk to shops)
• return flights in past year – domestic (3), international (0); May: about to embark on massive trip for doco for which I will be shedding environmental tears…26,000kms planned. This will blow my current Carbon Footprint figure out of the water 😦

Areas to Improve: take fewer flights; walk/skate/bus more rather than car; use less electricity; aim for 7-8 tonnes/yr CO2

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COMMUNITY
• I live walking distance to my girlfriend and a couple of other friends; 5 minute drive to a couple more
• intentional community living (share house or close living) = no
• share property or resources with community (some household items, driving, food with girlfriend & her housemate; borrow from other friends occasionally)
• collect hard rubbish from neighbourhood
• engage in conversation or help with mentally/physically challenged people in neighbourhood (30%)
• give to charities (monthly to: 1 x global aid, 1 x animal, 1 x heart foundation, 1 x activism organisation )
• volunteer with some friends’ and charitable projects

Areas to Improve: aim to achieve closer and more intentional community; share more resources; be more accepting of minority/disadvantaged; give more to charities; get more involved with meaningful & helpful projects

MAY SUMMARY: overall, doing the right things still but not socialising much due to workload which is not a routine I want to get stuck in. That said, I still work from home and can shuffle my schedule around. In addition, I don’t commute which saves on time, carbon pollution and gives me more opportunity to be social. Some areas I can still be a bit more green.

Intentional Community living

“Intentional” and “authentic” community living are a couple of words/phrases I had never heard before about a year or so ago. When you live in a city in our society and follow the rest of the pack, like I did (and still do, to some degree), you are led to believe that we should spread ourselves out – wayyyy out – sprawling our cities to the max, stake out our 400-600 sq metres+ of land, and live at arm’s length from our neighbours and also, effectively, from the problems of the city/world. This “buffer” gives us our private space to stretch our legs, let the kids safely run amok, put in a swimming pool and successfully segregate ourselves from everything that might impinge on our peace and quiet and security. What it is also successfully doing, however, is isolating ourselves increasingly more from other people and their needs, struggles, support, and face-to-face interaction.

I personally tend to batch together the ideas of intentional & authentic community living as I think there are elements that overlap: intentional communities can be defined as a planned residential collective of homes and people who work as a team to see through their common visions and goals together, sharing responsibilities and resources including traditions, beliefs or spirituality. A brilliant article on this idea is at the Intentional Communities website (IC.org). In her book Designing Social Systems in a Changing World, Bela Banathy describes authentic community as “a group of individuals who have developed a deep and meaningful commitment to each other and to a shared meaning or purpose.” These members of the community “feel that they belong together believe that they can make a difference in the world by pursuing their shared vision and purpose, communicate with each other openly, honestly, and creatively”, deliberately avoid a hierarchical or bureaucratic system of organisation, instead “govern[ing] themselves by shared stewardship,” and nurture and practice genuine development of the members of the community, “taking full advantage of their unique and collective potential, knowledge, skills, creativity, and intuition.” There is a tendency for spiritual groups to use authentic community often to describe this coming together, but I think it has many other exciting applications as well.

[ check out our intentional community trip in 2015 ]

What I like about this whole concept is that it starts to knit back together our social networks that have becoming pulled apart and frayed by this suburban sprawl and our thinking that we are better off barricading ourselves from the people around us in the name of security and privacy. The thing is, I reckon the world was a much safer place in general when people lived more communally, with generations of families under the same roof, with “tribes” or communities integrated together with their kids playing safely with each other and people generally having much greater support systems all around them. The only reason we build the walls is because we don’t know our neighbours so we don’t trust them; we don’t let our kids just run off and play down the street unsupervised because we don’t trust anyone; parents take their kids to daycare because they have to pay for the expense of having so much unshared space in their protected private property which they’ve walled off from the neighbours who, had they got to know them better, would be able to communally take care of the kids. And so on. That of course is a minute tip-of-the-iceberg of the snowballing problems of how far our society has strayed from a true sense of community, but you get the idea…

OK, this wasn’t supposed to be a rant! I get that way a bit, don’t I?? 🙂

Getting back to why I like this concept, I think there are so many benefits that would make my life better, not only because of the type of person I am (keep to myself and lazy at making friends but enjoy and need those closer, personal relationships; increasingly environmentally and ethically-oriented lifestyle; need a better support base for struggles and personal growth and understanding), but because there are so many interesting dynamics that come into play when you get similarly-minded people coming together to invigorate and enhance their own lives and those around them. Or as Geoph Kozeny puts it: “a feeling of belonging and mutual support that is increasingly hard to find in mainstream Western society”. A lot of people have some of these networks in place and still live in the segregated lifestyle that I mention above, but they live a distance away from friends and groups that meet occasionally and require a lot of wasteful driving time and energy, and leave big gaps in between. I am increasingly craving the ability to have all those benefits available on tap.

I will outline my “idealistic” (and hopefully not unattainable) vision of intentional/authentic living in a new blog entry which I make as my master wish list, expanding on it as time goes on. Over time, it’ll be interesting to see if this type of community living can be achieved, and if so, if it lives up to the billing that I am giving it! It would be exciting to chronicle the process and see what unexpected challenges and achievements would come of it. I’d still love to hear from anyone living this way!

Quick links:
Bindarri Cohousing and intentional living Australia
Amazing list of all the worldwide IC’s (intentional communities)
Excellent article on what IC’s are