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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Neighbor, Please join us for a fresh cup of tea!

I have spent most of my life searching for ways to make the world a truly better place. When I was younger I called this "saving the world" - that was my true calling!! Now, of course, I know it takes more than one person to save the world, but I'm doing my best to contribute in a significant way.

In college I looked far and wide for the best way to create positive change in the world, studying Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Science, Art, Literature, and Film.

I have had all sorts of jobs, including taking care of children in a drug and alcohol recovery center; writing multi-million dollar grants for state, county, and local community development and homeless programs; running Fine Art Camps for disadvantaged children; art directing film and television programs; directing and editing documentary films... and a whole host of other jobs. Most recently I have been moving away from documentary filmmaking toward environmental and sustainability consulting.

And over the past several months I have spent a good deal of my "spare" time writing at One Green Generation. There I share the many aspects of sustainable living that I encounter: recipes, gardening, saving money, living and eating locally, community-building, greening our home, nurturing one another, and much more.

I believe our journey to simplify, to become sustainable, does not stop at our individual actions at home. We can help bring our friends and neighbors together, where we can support and learn from one another. When we have the courage to venture beyond our doorsteps, we can help our communities to adapt, to become stronger, and to become whole after they have been torn apart by the past era of individuality.

Rhonda Jean has a link to other blogs in her sidebar, and she calls them her "Neighbors." It's a lovely thing. I'm honored to be one of her neighbors, and I take great pride in that. In the last 50 years, we have largely forgotten our neighbors. We have built walls and fences and shrubs to isolate ourselves from those around us. We have stopped borrowing butter and tools, we have ceased to rely on a neighbor for a shoulder to cry upon, or a good laugh over an impromptu cup of freshly brewed tea.

Individual actions are strong. But group actions are much stronger.

So, this is what I write about. I write about my own path, my own journey, toward living with as low of a negative impact as I possibly can. Simple, frugal, happy, peaceful. And I write about my new struggle to live within my community. I call this living locally. And what I've learned from living locally, is that our communities are not set up for that anymore - and so we must build them up again, make them stronger. And so I write about my efforts toward community-building as well.

At One Green Generation, we have created a community of wonderful, inspiring, and supportive people at various stages of their personal and lifelong efforts to live simply and sustainably. I am very much looking forward to becoming involved with this community of writers and readers here. (Thank you so much, Rhonda Jean, for bringing all of us together!)

I am proud to be a part of this co-operative. I think we can do great things, I think we can learn from one another, grow together, and create a movement of people working hard to change their individual lives, and to change our world for the better. And I'm very glad you're joining us on that adventure.

One final note...

Yes, there are tough times ahead of us. But we can - and we will - survive. If we all work together though, I wholeheartedly believe we can thrive! So let's do it. Join us for a cup of tea, bring your neighbors, and let's learn to thrive - together.

One Green Generation


Sinfonian said...

Two folks directed me to this blog. Though I'm mostly interested in gardening, I am always striving to trim and save. I started my garden as a hobby to relieve stress from my job in the banking industry, and it's provide me far more than I originally planned. In 130 SF I have grown most of our veggie needs this spring and poor summer, and hope to continue with cool weather crops this fall and winter. It's the most exciting thing I've undertaken in a long, long while!

Thank you for coming together to help everyone out there. I just love gardeners, always willing to lend a hand and give advice to help one another! What a difference from the greed-based economy out there!

P~ said...

Melinda, I couldn't agree more with bringing neighbors and friends together. I've read 1 green generation from time to time. I look forward to getting a chance to read more from you.

Sinfonian, I think I've seen you over at Freedom Gardens? You may have seen me as "Corner Gardener". Glad to see you here.

Rhonda Jean said...

Being neighbourly and building community is an important thing for all of us to do. You write so well about the subject, Melinda. Great first posts. I'll be reading the rest of them with interest.

Melinda said...

Sinfonian, Welcome! I'm glad you've joined us here. I also enjoy gardening very much. In fact I host a Growing Challenge at One Green Generation - you may want to take a look. Here is that link.

p~, It makes me feel good to hear you say that! : ) I'm looking forward to building a wonderful community here!

Rhonda, I'm so thrilled to be here. Thank you for your compliments!