Just had the best day tossing ideas around with Mary Saums and Deborah Adams. We shared news of our writing life, our personal life and our personal priorities. The reason behind this visit is that Mary had planted the seed of a possible joint venture. We three have a lot in common, being writers, women, and wives who believe strongly in personal responsibility, especially where it pertains to sustainable living. We decided the thing we most cared about right at this very second in our lives was our personal responsibility for the Earth and how we could make changes in our lives to help live sustainably.
Most of us live a little above our share of the carbon footprint we’re entitled to here in the United States. We all enjoy the lifestyle, but how many of us are truly aware of what each day’s activities use in terms of resources?
I thought I’d share what I tote up living on our eight acres back home outside Houston. I eat mostly local food, use renewable energy for electricity in our home, drive less than 150 miles a week, drive a high-efficiency car, fly 4 – 10 hours each year, and recycle everything that isn’t nailed down. Despite this the footprint calculator tells it would take 4.2 Earths to sustain us all if everyone lived my lifestyle. That is really scary since I know most who live in the area around me use far more resources to sustain their lives. NASA needs to go out and find a bunch more viable planets to keep us all in cars, convenient good things to eat, and A/C!
So is my lifestyle choice of having a large garden, getting my meat from local producers (Pastured beef and poultry) and writing books a valid one even though it takes so many resources to live this way? I think so. Certainly as valid as those neighbors who commute an hour each way five times a week to produce widgets of one sort or another. I provide food for my family, some for friends and neighbors, and hopefully produce a book a year for the public’s reading pleasure.
My goal is to get my footprint down to three Earths by the end of the year. I may have to whack off half the house to do this, but I’m game.
Now if only my tomatoes would look anything like as healthy as Deb’s.