Friday, September 28, 2012

notes from a sustainability conference

This passed week my school hosted a sustainability conference and launched the beginning of the Sustainability and Education Research Project (SERP). I got to attend three of the sessions: one on population growth, one on local foods, and one with the programs director of the No Impact Project. 

I left with these notes and my head buzzing with ideas. 

The United Nations' definition of sustainability: "...development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 

Artwork by Stephanie Holmes

Monday, September 24, 2012

change of season

And so summer has turned into fall. I was not the least bit sad to see it go.

I've never had any particular affection for fall, even though my birthday is in October. This year, though, I am relishing the change of season. The cooler weather means I can wear scarves and sweaters and boots, and sip warm tea in the afternoon, and the world is tinted gold. But it also seems like a mimicking of my feelings right now - I feel happy caught up in shifting seasons.

I am one month into the first semester of my second year at university. People ask if I still love it. Absolutely. More so than I ever did before. I love it when my head bubbles over with ideas and new information. (And, I must admit, I love the independence I have too.)

One of these new ideas: For a project recently, I've been interviewing local farmers. In my second interview with one farmer, I asked him why he got into farming. His reply stopped me in my tracks:

"I got into farming because there weren't too many things I could do for work that I thought could contribute to the kind of world that I wanted to exist in. And I couldn't find anything with farming that was compromising with what I thought was right. So. I got into farming. I was inspired by people who were self-sufficient and could grow their own food, you know, build their own buildings, fix their own stuff, and generate their own energy, and didn't rely on other people, didn't rely on institutions. Um...that's why I got into farm. I wanted to live close to the land and interact with the land. Because we live on a planet, and I wanted to take full advantage of getting to live on a planet. Like Earth – where you can grow stuff. And then, you know, reading different people, books, talking with different people. That's how I got into it. And I just thought: if you can grow your own food you don't really have to worry about anything. And if you're not worried about starving then you don't have to worry about anything, really. Course, there's always things to worry about – like, whatever. But I thought on a basic level if I could grow my own food I'd feel really secure. And it would be really empowering. And it is. I was right. It is really empowering."

My favorite line: "...we live on a planet, and I wanted to take full advantage of getting to live on a planet."

There will be more posts coming. In the month following the end of my internship I wasn't sure how to approach blogging in this space. Now I know. This my journal and in it I will explore living on a planet. I will take full advantage of getting to live on a planet.