Sunday, 5 December 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.