One of the things that makes me hopeful about our present day culture is the continuing emphasis on greening our economy. Here in Raleigh, the drought has raised awareness on how we use water and how to conserve water. We have lots of work to do, but there are public measures being put in place to help us stem the loss of water in our city. I think that this type of awareness is something we need to cultivate on a daily basis.
It’s just too easy to waste our natural resources in the city, and we’re starting to figure out that some resources are not infinite. They depend on the goodness of Mother Nature, in many cases. Others we don’t even notice and rarely take advantage in our culture, like solar energy. Since the back to the land movement proved somewhat unsuccessful, maybe our options should be to attempt to green our cities? There is much news that this increases a city’s livability factor and, in turn, attracts future investment.
Here are some things I was considering as I thought about this idea of staying in a city, but greening my area:
- Investing in a solar hot water heater (my conventional one is getting old)
- Adding an attic fan for cooling
- Getting a push mower
- Reducing my amount of waste
- Growing a kitchen garden
- Figuring out how to dry food with a solar cooker
- Collecting rainwater in a cistern
- Using grey water to water plants or flush toilet
- Educating myself on how to implement more measures
Many of these options are common sense and don’t require a big expenditure, except for the hot water heater. I was reading about how people in other cultures use everything and make their lives more sustainable. Examples were small every day actions that we might not consider, like saving our orange rinds and drying them to use as flavoring agents in teas, cakes, and the like. Wasting is epidemic in our American culture and it can be reduced. We can start small and try to increase our awareness through everyday simple actions.
*Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons license by darkpatator