For much of my life I’ve been interested in how we can better live in harmony with the environment and people around us, and that will be a major theme of this blog.
I majored in environmental studies in college, have never owned a car, and worked for nine years on improving public transit and promoting walkable, bikeable communities at an advocacy organization. However, while I appreciate the resolve I’ve had and work I did, in recent years it had started to seem like my approaches had gotten stuck. I had a strong sense of this about a year ago when I discovered the No Impact Man blog. Sure, I’d successfully resisted owning a car long before I’d met others doing the same. I’d done it for reasons of principle, as driving is a major source of greenhouse gases and owning a car would encourage me to drive far more than I care to. Yet, here was someone (Colin Beavan) who was using nearly no electricity and consuming next to nothing right in the middle of Manhattan. I’m not aiming to repeat the No Impact Man experience for myself, but I was impressed by what he’d done and it seemed as if my efforts had lost the freshness and significance that I’d once associated with them.
Then, in the summer of 2009 I took an urban permaculture design course and my thinking shifted again as I saw a new way of looking at the world and of meeting human needs. I’m confident that I’ll have much more to say about permaculture in future blog posts, so I’m not going to to dive into an explanation of permaculture right now. Suffice it to say, however, that one of the many concepts that resonated with me from that course was the idea of abundance instead of scarcity.
How can we create more abundance in our lives, particularly those things that make life richer, and more full and enjoyable? How can we have abundant time and connection with people? How can we have abundant creativity and play? How can we have abundant (and nutritious) food and clean water? How can we have enough shelter and abundant energy for our needs? (And just to clarify a hopefully obvious point: I don’t mean gluttonously stuffing ourselves or recklessly consuming energy; rather, I mean having plenty for our real needs.)
I managed to register the unclaimed name ‘Becoming Abundant’ for this blog, which is congruent with these many ideas that I’m interested in exploring and writing about. In future posts I envision writing about sustainability and regeneration, and some of the many strategies in the permaculture toolbox to harvest water, food, and energy. I intend to use this blog as a place to capture what I learn, projects, that I participate in, and solutions that I hear about. Lately, I find myself coming across such a wide range of creative, ingenious solutions to the many problems we face in today’s world and I find it difficult (at best) to keep them in my head, so I especially want to have a place to share those gems of inspiration.
There’s a lot more I could say about what I plan to write but I’d rather leave it at that for now and see how the blog evolves over time.