Out there in corners of the material world there are people trying to live apart from consumerism’s glare. They have chosen a low key existence in order to save The Planet and I’m sure they hope to influence others to be more environmentally conscious. They are not like people such as me who live in houses which run on electricity and consume gas, nor are they people like us who drive to shop. They attempt to live off the land and not buy stuff imported from across the globe, they avoid plastic, chemicals, even money has little influence on their lives. But this is not an easy choice.
There’s a chap up the road who lives in a wooden barn he built as a house, it has everything one needs and is off-grid in every way. He grows all that is need for himself and the ducks he eats and whose eggs he enjoys. Yet one can see his days can be tough, when, for example you have winters dominated by rain and cold. Over the hill from us is a community which has expanded this idea. They live in a forest of Douglas fir and sell the wood they cut into planks. Their vehicle is a horse drawn cart and we enjoy the clippity-clop as it passes our house. But you can see they are struggling to hold it together, to gain money the each find work in whatever way they can. One of them tends the gardens of the wealthy, inevitably rely on the ever people they have supposedly turned from, but don’t we all. 25% of English taxes are gathered from the banking sector.
In our nearest city, Bristol, a community has created a city-farm where people in the houses near by grow fruit and vegetables and tend to their chickens. There are plans to build small affordable homes made of environmentally sensitive materials. Talking of which, a man in the nearest tiny town to here wants to do the same on land he is trying to purchase with a consortium of people. If we were younger it might interest us.
Such attempts at a sustainable existence are but nothing, what is needed is that the general public listens to their message. We can live more lightly, it just takes a little bit of thinking before we act, something I’ve gone over in previous blogs. I’d better be off to complete the wood shed we’re constructing for the arrival of wood in three days time. Using the wood stove has meant the gas-fired heating is only on for half the time we need to heat our home, even on the coldest of days.