Working in groups of 4 people we sat in a cafe like setting with coffee, green tea and water provided...and a few candies too. The night was focused on two questions which then seemed to make the conversations take flight.
First a big thank you to Sherry Pelkey who was the host of Sharendipity Cafe - Creating possiblities in conversation.
Question #1 - What does sustainable living mean to me and why is it important in my life?
Question #2 - What actions can we take to move our lives towards sustainable living?
There was also 'Ah Ha's' board to post to and a 'resources' board to post. What was clear from the start was everyone in attendance was at different stages of sustainable living and that we all wanted to do more....as you are always changing and working toward what is sustainable for your situation....which of course changes too depending on whether you are just married or getting ready for retirement...or somewhere in between.
So what does sustainable living mean to those attending? Here is a partial list: trying to live and use things renewable, live independent; not rely on oil, large income, or on others (government maybe). If you were cut off from the world could live happliy. Own fewer things makes for a happier life (less stuff), keep it simple, no waste, less stress. We need key things for living; shelter, food/water, Maslow Theory. Nature is important to our lives and we should spend more time outdoors, growing food, learn different skills, and hanging clothes out on the line. We need to go back to go forward and 'living with meaning within our means.' There was mention of technologies being sustainble, the chains of a mortgage, wanting more free time, pride vs values, if money was no object what would we be doing?, buying smarter not cheaper, globalization and lowest common denominator, and more.
- continue to strive toward sustainability, work less - play more, land and gold vs money - sustainable retirement, community kitchen, community garden, sharing what you 'do' i.e soap making, save water - shower together, doing more slow cooker meals, review housing choices like strawbale, passive solar, earthship, tiny houses, a PEI local company making small houses - Lumber Shacks.
- less lawn and more garden, make your own wine, beer, soap, food, etc. indoor gardens (sprouting), e-reader or used books, used clothing swap, bartering, buy form local producers, shop with 'meaning', buy what you need not what you want, wait 24 hours to buy.
Reasons to strive toward a more sustainable life included: economic climate, environmental concern, and goal of being mortgage free. Discussion ensued on innovative ways to create our own food source i.e window gardens and how difficult it is to move from a 'consumer' lifestyle to a sustainable one.
Future - in the planning stages, thinking of having another meeting focused on a topic i.e How to be mortgage free? How to go solar? etc. Dates being considered January 14th or January 15th.
Resources (we don't endorse the companies just passing on information):
strawbale, passive solar, earthship, tiny houses, a PEI local
company making small houses - Lumber Shacks
Books mentioned at the meeting: (Check out our local library www.library.pe.ca/ )
- Your Money or Your Life
- The End of Economic Growth by Richard Heinberg (not at the library...will drop my copy down when I finish reading it)
- Who's your city? : how the creative economy is making where to live the most important decision of your life
- Wealthy Barber
- Smile is Beautiful
- Small is Possible
John Getson an attendee has offered to create a website where we can post resources and upcoming events. Thank you John and Shannon has offered to teach a soap making class. Thank you Shannon.