This is one of the things I am most excited about in this move...as a family, learning where things come from and to be good stewards of our resources and the earth. For a while now I have been really put off by the consumer-driven culture that seems to be prevalent in our society. The short film, The Story of Stuff really highlighted the problems with this for me. I want my kids to learn to reduce, reuse, recycle and conserve not consume, consume, consume. I think having an understanding of where stuff comes from provides you with the right motivation to be responsible with it.
I remember when I was a kid, my Dad would repeatedly get on our case about turning off lights in rooms we weren't in...or the TV when we weren't watching it etc., etc. I remember thinking, what's the big deal? If someone had asked me if I knew where electricity came from, probably the depth of my understanding would have been "uh, the switch on the wall?". For most of my generation, we've had it so easy. Need water? Turn on the tap. Feel a bit cold? Crank up the thermostat. Feel like strawberries, in the middle of January? Just jump in the car and drive to the grocery store, yep even if it is 3am. And until recently...I hadn't really thought about the consequences of these modern conveniences...and they are huge, for our planet and ourselves.
See, in my parent's generation, they knew about conservation because they didn't have much to work with. My parents were raised in England during 'the war'. My Grandad had an allotment garden, like most of his neighbours, to grow food for his family. My Nana owned one coat in her whole life...she took very good care of it. My mom learned to sew/crochet/knit/cook because these skills would help her survive and care for her family. If they felt cold...they put on a sweater. Now...I'm not suggesting that these were the best of days...for sure, my mother still can't understand why we would want to give up central heating but what I wonder is... why not, now that we have a choice to do so...choose to use our resources wisely?
Modifications ©2006 Jone Johnson Lewis
We are hoping to venture into renewable energy sources at Wise Acres...which may mean having to 'conserve energy' and this will definitely mean something different to my kids than it did to me because...if we use up all the energy we have stored in our batteries...that will be it until the sun shines on us tomorrow. A lesson that can be applied to so many things, don't you think?
A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)