Hello Everyone, welcome to a new and strange adventure,
‘Sustainability in the City’ is a new page branching out from my other ponderings about life. My favourite human and I are planning on exploring the possibilities and pitfalls of trying to live as eco-consciously as possible while navigating the extra difficulties faced by people with special access and health needs. It is likely to get quite creative and at times bizarre, although I think my recent threat to turn used cat litter into second generation bio-fuel might be taking it an acre too far!
Environmentalism has been a big part of my life until my health emergencies demanded I shift focus. If anyone wants my sustainability ranting credentials they can click on this link. Since 2016 I’ve done relatively little regarding my environmental concerns, except the odd rant or growl at someone who does not recycle. There may even nearly have been gnashing of teeth. I know, I know, what can I say, living with disabling chronic illnesses leads to a lot of frustrations.
Lately, children from all around the world protesting against climate chaos in hundreds of thousands have reminded me of the urgent need for action. I’m a city dweller, along with billions of others. Although I admire off-grid livers and homesteaders of numerous kinds, we can’t all survive in the back of beyond with an ice pick. I know, in the past I’ve tried. It was messy. The world’s population dictates densely populated areas are here to stay, with many cultural advantages and access to facilities from schools to art centers, hospitals to cinemas and multi-cultural cuisine. At some point though, we are going to have to make cities more future-proof and life-friendly. Some point is now.
Air pollution, traffic jams, long commutes, noise, and exhaustion are also many people’s experiences in cities all over the world. This is not good for physical or mental health, climate, ecosystems, economies or our future. If you’ve read this far you, like me, are probably fed up with various governments’ warm words and inaction while the climate heats up. The IPCC warns us we have less than 12 years to drastically lower our emissions or face catastrophe but we can make changes. Change is both possible and necessary, but how do we change when so many sustainability guides are either not geared to city dwelling, or geared to those who own half a city? How do people who have to budget their time, money and/or physical energy make sustainability happen? How do many of us with debilitating conditions, disabilities or special access needs fit into the equation? The words of Ralph Waldo Emerson are knocking about in my head:
“Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Those words make me excited and determined to extend my capacity to live in a more environmental way regardless of illness or disability. If a sustainable future is going to be a thing, it has to work for everyone no matter ability, income or place of origin. It will not happen if it’s seen to fit one type of lifestyle choice. It needs to be an adaptive way of thriving, whoever someone is and whatever their other priorities, passions, and life demands. We need sustainability models for mere mortals; sustainability for anyone for whom off-grid living in the wilds or spending a fortune are off the table. We decided in our home to create our own model of living sustainability in the city on a low budget and with all the hoo-ha that comes with chronic conditions and disabilities. It isn’t meant as a template for others, but it might get some of your own ideas sparking as we experiment, succeed or fail, learn and then succeed. They’ll be ideas with original twists in each short section for you to do your own thing if you’re inspired to do so. Aiming to keep the plan as simple as we can we have come up with the CITY anacronym below.
To visit each of the pages for ideas – or just to laugh with us as we try things out please click on the page links below as they appear. Enjoy, comment and live it with us. We look forward to having you along with us for the ride.
Children’s Uprising (the inspiration)
My Sustainable Ranting Credentials (everyone has a right to rant … and act)
Creatively Conserving Energy – First Course (action, report and poetry)
Lies in Old Westminster (poem)
Sustainability Sundays (report, and poems; a haibun of action)
The Moon Child (short story)
Burning Injustices (poem)