Many environmentalists, including David Suzuki, theorize that as a culture part of the environmental disconnect is the missing puzzle piece of actually experiencing the natural world. A nice example of this is that commercial of the little boy who brings his mother an actual bullfrog; who looks disgusted and forces him to read about frogs in a book. The lesson: Nature is dirty and should be experienced at a distance.
I find it sad that we have to go to the park to experience nature. It's obvious city life is wearing on me and perhaps it's time to consider a long term "sustainable home" savings plan. The biggest barrier? Commuting to work. Currently we both walk to our jobs for the most part, everything is very accessible (including the farmer's market). Living in a city can potentially decrease a person's carbon footprint; should they choose to access everything via public transit and support sustainable city infrastructure. Unfortunately, the way Halifax is currently set up sucks away my soul to the point where I feel as grey with a head filled with constant electronic background hum that I'm not sure how to connect with the Earth I was so passionate to save just months ago.
I'm still not sure it's possible to live in a city the way they are organized today and truly experience the connection I believe necessary to engender a sufficient amount of "I care about this" sense of urgency. Without this paradigm shift, it's much more difficult to encourage behavioural change necessary to make that cultural shift from wasteful to environmental. I don't mean buying the "eco" versions of things, but decreasing consumerism, walking or taking public transit to work and growing your own food. (And demanding environmental policies from our political leaders).
Our trip to my parents this weekend in rural Nova Scotia was a necessary hit of nature to sustain me until we can plan something a bit more substantial.
(old school lobster 'pots' or traps that still hang out a a childhood friend's driveway)
(fiddleheads peeping through the brown burnt ground while we were walking on the old 'tracks' which used to be the train tracks when the train actually went past Halifax. Now they function as a four wheeler, walking or bicycle path. The ground was burned as the land owners here often burn old under growth during the spring).
(Mayflowers- they smell DELICIOUS and grow wild- and are Nova Scotia's official flower!)
(mom wanted some for her kitchen. As muck has never been a deterrent for me, a quick hop and tentative plucking around the pickers and....)
(A beautiful bouquet!)
A melted green glass bottle
A typical view along our road, as we don't have a street name in our village. That's the Atlantic ocean and an island that you see.
Fishing boats coming in the harbour after being out lobster fishing since 3am that morning. It was around 3:30pm when I took this picture. That's an island where a few Americans bought the land and thought it would be 'quaint' to build a few houses... which they never lived in...
(I say this days before Andrew and I take a plane for Montréal for the CASLPA conference. It's for my work and professional development, but I can't help but feel guilty for the amount of carbon I'm helping to pump into the atmosphere. If I were more wealthy I'd try to get some carbon offsets or something. Ah well, lots of walking and metro-ing while I'm there!).
Regardless, right now living in the city is the only option for us. As our "eco-home" is still a few years away, I feel like we have time to figure out a few commuting solutions.
In the meantime? Frequent weekly Yoga in the Parks and Guitar playing picnics at Point Pleasant can't come soon enough.
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