Tuesday, 14 October 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.

Melinda
One Green Generation