In today’s society, there is increasing pressure for people to maintain successful and ‘prestigious’ careers whist also raising a family and keeping up with the Joneses. Typically, this involves mortgages, SUV’s and working long hours in boring jobs.
However, with global ecosystems on the brink of collapse, unemployment rates skyrocketing and people becoming increasingly disenchanted with the current capitalist system, I believe we are facing a paradigm shift in the way that we live, work, interact and perceive the world around us.
It is for this reason that I have chosen not to focus on the conventional ‘career path’ that most of my peers are currently undertaking. I must admit, in the past, developing a stable and fulfilling career was of utmost importance to me. I wanted it all; a good job, car, house and much more. It was only recently that I realised that this is not the way I want to live.
So I have made the decision not to move to the city to study and work; instead I will aim to live in a sustainable manner that means my partner and I will be less reliant on the market forces that drive modern society.
In the short term, this means developing a sustainable living space which involves off the grid renewable energy and a large permaculture garden to cater for our food security. I will also be starting a Master’s degree in Sustainability and Climate Policy via distance education in order to gain the skills and knowledge to implement truly sustainable practices within my own life and the broader community.
In the long term, I will aim to expand these initiatives to include public workshops, an early childhood education centre or simply a hub of sustainable activity open to the public; the possibilities are endless.
Living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is not a new concept. It is something that has been around since the dawn of humankind. However, sustainable practices such as growing produce and minimising the use of energy have been eroded in an industrialist era which posits infinite economic growth as the ultimate goal.
As cities grew in the 19th and 20th centuries, people became more and more disconnected to nature and the source of their food and sustenance. However, across the world this is now slowly changing. From the slow food movement to the increase in community gardens and small scale renewable energy, individuals are reconnecting with their roots and attempting to live in a way that minimises their impact on the natural environment.
It is my hope that I can live in a sustainable manner which comprises all aspects of my life including housing, food, water, transport, energy and waste. I want to give my family and future generations a chance to experience the wonders of nature and teach them to value diversity, culture and all that society has to offer them. Through doing this I aspire to influence the wider community and pave the way for the systemic change which millions are also campaigning for.
Ultimately, the time for talk is over. I am sick of ranting about my ideal world. It’s time to create it!
I will aim to post more regarding this topic as my ideas and actions progress. I welcome any feed back or ideas as to how this dream can become a reality.
Some inspirational images: