Advocacy Begins At Home: Permanent Sustainable Changes Hard-Wired for Us
March 30, 2021
The coach belongs to my sister. The two cushions as well. When she moved out of state, she handed the coach to my mom who then handed the coach to me. It’s one of the most comfortable places to sleep on in the house. The hexagonal shelf, my big brother made for me. He says he may make me more out of solid wood. This one is out of ply wood. It’s beautiful. I’m going to hang it out, and wait for more. Whenever the others may come, tomorrow or in a decade – I will place them next together.
This morning I had a good breakthrough in the journal article I am lead-author for with my friends in the AAP. The four case studies we are writing about how in our specific region we are going to advocate for changes. One person is going to write about the changes to the ocean, another to trees, another to wind, and I will write about the power of the earth and community gardens. I have sketched out some of that section already. I had our premed intern write the introduction and it is hard to write the introduction to a piece that does not exist yet. We have a group author meeting this morning at 10-11am, so I am hopeful we will get some headway.
I can only venture in trying to change the built environment of our world to meet the demands of climate change, since we have made changes in our lives that have fundamentally changed the way we live. It has been mostly a paradigm shift in our minds and hearts – and it has brought us so much richness and peace. It’s that peace I want for everyone. Let me list the concrete changes I’ve made in our lives to make it more sustainable, and how it has enriched our life.
Five Sustainable Living Changes That Are Hard-Wired
- Gardening and Sharing Food: My mother-in-law always gardened before. But now we are gardening in containers out back and on our roofdeck. The yield from both two small gardens is small, but it brings us joy. It reflects also some of the heat as they are on concrete surfaces. This reduces the urban heat-island effect. I brought 4 small strawberries over to my dad yesterday, and they were bursting with flavors. I cooked the young peas in our stirfry yesterday. I know they did not have any pesticides and grown organically. My mother-in-laws bounty is tremendous. Over the weekend, I dropped off two large shopping bags full of our backyard produce to my mom’s house and one of her neighbors, who is actually a co-worker. It makes sense to drop it off at his house, because he lives closest and we are friends. Putting the earth at the center and thinking about carbon emissions when making trips draws me closer to the friends and family who actually live near us.
- Composting: We just have 1 aerobin400, and for a while I was thinking of buying another one. But honestly with the hot composting, things are composting so quickly that it’s hard for me to keep it filled. I’m on the look-out for more nitrogens. I collect the coffee grounds from work, and looking for more vegetable scraps. I may have to start asking our neighbors. I did ask our my work-friend who is my mom’s neighbor because we are always around that area anyway. Being connected via the waste we make is super-interesting. Two mornings ago I went on a particularly long jog, and found a fallen grapefruit in the alleyway. I brought it home (it was already split open on the ground and no one was going to eat it but it was not that soiled yet), and threw it in the composter. I thought that moment was really interesting.
- Trash Art. I love making trash art. I have some big projects coming up that we may display at two big events. But part of the fun of trashart is that it is an act of advocacy. I can only use what I have and what I find. It gets me outside and finding treasures on the sand, that I turn from pollution into an advocacy piece.
- Walk to the Grocery Store. We live three blocks from a bulk organic grocer. We walk there frequently now. It’s a smallish space but now that we are eating mostly bulk foods, there is actually more food for us there then there is at the big Costco Warehouse. About a third of the time, we walk there to buy things and carry home. The other 2/3, we will drive in my plug-in electric. But we try to stay close to where we live to buy food. Maybe once a month we will go to Costco now.
- Sharing Clothes. We hardly buy anything new now. But we still have some hand-me-downs to pass on. Rather than overthinking it, there is a coworker at the office that has a son I pass on our teen’s stuff. For our tween’s clothes, non-uniform clothes I pass on to my sister and uniform clothes to another Girl Scout volunteer’s family. Rather than having her drive all over to the place to pick them up, since she lives far from me. I just told her, I’ll give you the bag when I see you at Girl Scouts. Saves miles driven. Eventhough she has an electric, its important to drive as little as possible as microplastics from the tires are spewed into the air when we drive any kind of vehicle.
And that it is. There are 5 changes that are hard-wired that have kept us closer to our actual neighborhood. This makes sense because we already live here. We should do what we can in our own vicinity. I would love to pick up trash in far-off locales, but there is plenty of trash in my immediate vicinity.
I never know what kind of blogpost will emerge these early mornings. It’s 540AM and this is the blogpost that was meant to be. Wishing you and your family and wonderful Tuesday. For me it is all about vaccine meetings and climate meetings today. I’m already working on some Christmas ornaments from upcycled things! See Dr. Plastic Picker is ahead even in my trash art pieces! LOL.