I saw the film “This Changes Everything” and it gave me hope for the first time in a long time. It’s about the marginalized people: indigenous, poor, living on the fringe, who are staking their lives to stop the destruction of their livings, their habitat.
I’ve done my best: I drive a Prius with a bumpersticker that says “I’m a clean energy voter,” I have a solar panel and solar hot water, I recycle vegetable waste in the compost, I recycle everything my town can recycle and still I take a big bag of garbage to the dump every few weeks. I use as little water as possible, I buy organic and local as much as I can, I have a wood stove — actually a ‘Masonry Heater‘ — the wood burns flat out and heats up the stone which re-radiates it for hours, but there’s so much more I could do if the community were supporting my efforts.
I had an epiphany when I went to Findhorn a number of years ago. I was spending the night in a big house before going off on a “Pilgrimage through Scotland.” While brewing my cup of tea in the morning, I noticed that under the counter were bins labeled: paper, plastic, metal, glass. There was a compost jar on the counter. There was NO garbage can. If you had (God forbid) some garbage you had to take it yourself to a designated shed. When I went to the bathroom there was a sign on the wall that said “The living machine thanks you for your contribution. Please do not put anything in the toilet except human excrement and toilet paper. The living machine can’t digest it.” While walking outside I noticed a windmill. I was told it generated enough electricity for half the community and they were raising money to build a second.
I best remember what happened to me as I stood in the kitchen looking at those labeled bins. I felt a huge relief and relaxation in my body. I realized how much energy it took to live against the current in the USA.