Sunday, February 14, 2016

Steps Towards Sustainability - We Had To Start Somewhere.

Excited and energized by the "Food Justice, Faith and Climate Change Forum," I tried to share what I learned with my apathetic teenage son. Feeling frustrated after he told me that everything I was doing to combat climate change was stupid (I hate that word!), I tried to paint him a picture of how it would affect us. “You know the way the land looks in "Mad Max: Fury Road" – where nothing can grow on it - that’s possible.  It could happen again. It has happened before in this country. In Oklahoma, the farmers overworked the land so much that nothing would grow on it.” My son said he already knew about that.  “That’s the Dust Bowl. I don’t care. What would you have done about it? Told those farmers not to farm on their land? Would they have listened to you? What good do you do?”  I replied, “I don’t know. But I know that I couldn’t live with myself if I left that for you without doing something. I have to start somewhere, don’t I?"

Our fledgling tree still needs support
So here I am starting somewhere.  My husband Dan and I started where we live. Bit by bit we are making an effort to transform our convenient consumer lifestyle into a more sustainable lifestyle. Admittedly, we are still learning what that means. My simplest definition is incorporating sustainable practices and habits into our everyday life that protect our precious land (so it will continue to grow plants like the food we eat and maintain the various ecosystems and wildlife) and conserve our precious water supply. This is especially important since we live in the desert. While reduce, reuse, recycle is a great start (I am still groping with changing old habits), it goes beyond that to shopping locally, gardening, water harvesting, reducing use of fossil fuels…  We have so much to learn!  But it’s kinda fun and exciting.

I have been wanting to start a “Sustainable Living Tucson” blog for some time.  Dan and I have discovered so many incredible resources (Watershed Management Group, Native Seeds/SEARCH, PimaCounty Seed Libraries), that I wanted to start a blog showing how Tucson is a sustainability mecca in the desert. And hopefully I will get to that someday. But as my wise brother-in-law suggested, it might be more useful to share our honest struggles in changing our lifestyle from that of an average American consumer to being more responsible for the future of our home. So here I am - starting where we are NOW. 

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