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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Introducing myself

Aurora, at Island Dreaming.

This is my first post here; so I will take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am battling a bug at the moment, I apologise that this is short and photo-light.

I have always been interested in environmental issues. My university education was focused upon the technical aspects of solving various environmental problems - waste management, contaminated land and water resource management. Throughout my degree I had begun to feel unease at a huge disconnect between the science and sustainability of the ever more complex solutions being promoted. It was during this period that I began to read about peak oil, resource depletion and climate change. Several books I read at this time were focused on how societies as a whole choose to sink or swim - and that those that add more and more layers of complexity to solve their spiralling problems tend to sink. All of this made sense to me, but offered me little direction for making a positive difference with my life.

The arrival of our son in 2008 spurred us to action. The last two years we have focused mainly upon our finances and a push to pay off our debts and start saving for the future. At the same time we have begun to learn and relearn old skills. Sometimes these save us money - cooking with wholefoods, brewing beer and wine making. We have begun to declutter the house and streamline our activities so that we can make the most of our time together. In the year ahead I would like to focus more on the garden, energy usage and our wider environmental impact. I now know that the only way forward is if every household and individual takes responsibility for their own consumption habits and recognises when enough is enough.

In the time since I graduated, the world has spun into financial chaos, oil and food prices have seen increasing volatility and austerity budgets are sweeping the western world. Inspite of all of this, I sometimes wonder if I have made the right decision. Sometimes I wonder if I am too frugal, if we are depriving our son by ploughing all of our resources into debt repayments and savings; and if we just maybe wouldn't be better off blowing a credit card on a family holiday to Disneyland. These moments pass, as 24 hour rolling news confirms my suspisions that we as a species are coming to some kind of crossroads that it would be wise to be prepared for.

I write about our everyday lives, experiments, failures and any passing thoughts I may have on these topics. I look forward to participating in the community here and sharing ideas for a more sustainable world.


Paula said...

Great way to put how I've been thinking for awhile. Society is coming to a crossroads, and it's better to be prepared for it, which is what I'm trying to learn as well. I also agree that it's up to the individual household to do their part voluntarily, because our government's not going to get around to making any meaningful changes. They all appear to be more interested in getting reelected than getting anything done. So, it's up to us!

dixiebelle said...

Hi there, nice to meet you and I am now following your blog!

"I now know that the only way forward is if every household and individual takes responsibility for their own consumption habits and recognises when enough is enough." So true...

Your family seem to be in a similiar place to mine, and knowing there are others out there doing/ thinking/ feeling/ acting the same way is a great motivator and comfort!

Rhonda Jean said...

Welcome to the co-op Aurora.

Francesca said...

Hi Aurora, and welcome!

David said...

In the words of financial talk show host Dave Ramsey, "Live now like no other so you can live later like no other." The meaning behind that is to live frugally now and get all debt paid off so that later you can live much better than the folks that are still riddled with debt.

I encourage you to stay on track with paying off debt. You might suffer a bit now but in later years you will be glad you did.

Have a great frugal day.

Sadge said...

Welcome, Aurora! Fascinating personal blog, too - I look forward to hearing more from you.

Aurora said...

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome!

I know only a handful of people in the 'real' world interested in any of these subjects. The internet is a wonderful tool for connecting individuals together to share ideas and encouragement to make these changes, without the help (or hindrance) of government.

David - that is a brilliant quote! I plan to keep on at the finances.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Welcome to the Co-op Aurora, looking forward to reading your posts.

Andrea said...

Thanks for your nice introduction. I have been on the same road for a while. My kids are now 10 and 14. We save a lot. It made it possible for us to move for a job in 2009. We had lots of equity in our old home, and were able to sell that one and buy a new one with a small mortgage and almost 75% downpayment. The first home was purchased in 1992. We have lots of retirement savings and some college savings. It's been hard hearing about others' extravagant vacations and visiting fancy fancy kitchens. But we have visited friends across the country and even in England, saving hotel room money and having a great time. We vacation with many families sharing rent and expenses in North Carolina (6 families in an 8 bedroom house)! It's reassuring knowing we have saved for a rainy day. We don't worry about money now, although our country's terrible choices to spend lots and reduce taxes on the wealthiest are scary!!! I wish our country budgeted the way we do.

Coach Outlet said...

They all appear to be more interested in getting reelected than getting anything done. So, it's up to us!Thank you for sharing!

Tiffany Jewelry said...

nice to meet you.
hope you can write more and more articles for sharing. thanks in advance.