Friday, 28 January 2011

Environmental Research

What would I do if I could do research or a project in the above area?

I would really like to do a project that would see small communities (say streets/small towns) of people working together to improve their local environmental impact and doing projects, such as, reusing clothes and other household items, growing and sharing seasonal food (shared compost heaps and gardens to grow in), having childcare schemes so say 5 families could group together and one family could look after the other parents children one day a week (meaning 4 nights off a week for the parents to put towards community/personal/household work or a job), setting up free volunteered or cheap teaching facilities for parents and children (which could incorporate teaching for an improved environment through recycling and reusing), generally creating more a community that is happy setting goals and approaching local counsels/governments to make these (for me this would be about improving environmental laws, recycling, reusing and general "better living"..).

What is "better living" in my terms; I suppose I'll start of by admitting this may be very idealistic and also these are not rigid terms as I am still grasping the concept myself. Growing as much vegetables and produce ourselves, eating as much natural food as possible, heating our own homes (also insulating them better), having access to running water, recycling water, collecting rain water for garden and indoor use, having compostable toilets, compost heaps for leftovers/excess, reusing old clothes and fabrics to remake/mend clothes and shopping in charity shops, trying to tone down consumerism, bringing back local grocers, butchers, farmers etc (save on carbon miles and keep own economy going...), having eco-communities, riding bikes more and using cars less, car pooling (yes, actually doing it, not it just being suggested!!), wind and water power, solar panels, having a strong community with spirit and trust.

Hmm, the above is all a lot. And to be honest I don't know enough about all the above, so I think my first step would be to start trying to read daily news updates/information on these topics I am interested in.

I really really feel like we are more and more worried about career's and making money and filling our ego's, then just living life, enjoying the beauty of nature and other human beings and what can be learnt from simplicity. I of course say this, wrapped up in bed on my wireless internet connection...!!

If compostable toilets and water recycling/catching where brought into our homes we would (in theory) see less water pollution and less water use, not to mention better soil for the plants! Growing our own produce and vegetable or buying from local places (or lets just say our country) would help our economy, cut down on fuel used to freight food, and dare I say give us a sense of achievement? Heating our own homes; OK, this can be a bit of a hard one, but it is do able but I am not sure of the carbon ratifications (i.e. is there less or more carbon from central or wood fire heating...?).

Toning down consumerism (such as buying a new car every year, getting the kitchen re-done every two years, buying endless amounts of clothes from well known cheap brands or high street stores, having millions of gadgets etc etc) will help to stop lining the pockets of the already very rich, should cut down on plastic use, landfill sites, money spent, actual crap purchased that no-one needs anyway and possibly make our lives feel simpler and less lead by what we have physically to more what we have emotionally and spiritually.

I do realise that this might not be for everyone, but I think if you compare the life I think would be best to the life that people live now; quick breakfast, get in to work early, lunch at desk, drive home, quick minute dinner or try and cook as quick as possible, 30-min only work out (if any!), TV and bed....heart disease, colon cancer, colds and flu, cancer, stress, material wealth, bigger and bigger addiction problems, mid-life crises! I think you get the picture.

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