The Dream Home

I feel like this is a dirty confession - I have started fantasizing about building my own "eco" house from the ground up on an acreage probably with straw bales and preferably bordering on a river. Essentially drop out of city living. Cleaner air, grow my own food and get over my unreasonable fear of most wildlife. Further from the grind of advertising and invented needs. Easy access to recreation.

I always go in circles and have to check that against my social work learning. Only the middle to upper class can afford to have an escape like that - could I focus my energy on making changes that benefit people who are stuck in cities for example? How do I reconcile my wealth with those who don't have it?

Taking it to the next level, this means I am infected with the standard attitude of looking for the next big thing - moving on or up. I am happy with where I live and the lifestyle I have - I know that the next "thing" isn't likely to actually make life better so why do I think about it as much as I do?

Little House on the Prairie

I know this will really give away my life stage, but I've recently been impacted by the Little House on the Prairie series. I'm reading it to my daughter and aside from some angst about perpetuating nasty stereotypes, it's been fascinating. The title book has full chapters on how to build a log house, a well, a door & hinges without nails and a rocking chair. How many of us can do any of that? We don't actually need to I suppose but I am hungry for that type of "real" knowledge.

If nothing else, the books have inspired me to reuse and fix things myself more often. I'm pretty good at recycling but have a long way to go to reduce my comsumption and waste to a level I'm more comfortable with. I've been on a sewing kick and plan to make some slippers from yarn odds and ends I have lying around. I will check for additional yarn at the thrift store a few blocks down before I run to the nearest mega-craft store for it.

On a final note, I love the idea (not necessarily the reality) of growing and consuming most of my own food. For the record, I don't have a yard capable of yielding great harvests. It's actually been referred to as a courtyard. I do have some space though and grew some herbs successfully this year. There is no reason however, not to take full advantage of the many farms in the area. I could purchase larger quantities of vegetables and fruit in season and learn how to store them. This year I'm going to make some jam and store some extra apples. Not too bold, but it's somewhere to start.


Getting Started

I plan for this to be a venue for all thoughts related to a sustainable living. I do not believe that personal, environmental and work issues are separate concerns. I imagine the posts will range from the very personal (my baby kept me up all night and that is not sustainable), to practical (how to clean your house without cancer causing agents), to theories and dreams of a better way of doing things on a grand scale.

I found a simple chart that identifies the connections between social work and environmental concerns. It sent me off on a google spree to do some more digging on other social workers who are already on that track. They are out there and I hope this blog helps both connect me to them in some way and perhaps provide (or find) a forum for implementing creative ideas.