“Build therefore your own world.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
In previous blogs I talked about baby boomers and the increase in our population immediately following the end of World War II. This escalated expansion period, which I grew up in, was the start of rapid growth demands demanding exorbitance amounts of natural resources to produce a lot of unnecessary stuff. Negative side effects on the environment became part of everyday life. Signs of bellowing smoke stacks, contaminated waterways, suburban sprawl of track home, and highways littered with billboards advertising cigarettes and gambling.
More natural resources also necessary to feed and clothe the growing families. The boom was great for the economy, but a bust for nature.
Millennials are holding off on having children as they wait for better jobs, while many of those who are having families, are trying to create a more stable, eco-friendly environment to raise their children.
The Tiny Home movement is quickly gaining traction, not only for the fiscal benefits, but also because the environmental impact is less than buying (or having built) one of those “McMansion” communities that spring up after acres of land have been cut down.
According to TinyHouseBuild.com, a tiny house uses substantially less wood to build, dramatically consumes less electricity, and creates only 558 pounds of CO2 each year, versus a standard house’s 8,000 pounds. Plus, it takes much less time to clean. Think about all the free time you’ll have to garden, spend with friends, travel, or volunteer your time! A Tiny Home is not for everyone but reducing the carbon foot print of our dwelling is doable for most of us. If you are considering building or buying a home the benefits of “small is beautiful” are tremendous to your bottom line and reducing the effects of climate change.
The average homes nowadays are MORE than double the size they were in the 1950s. And what do we do with all of that space? Put stuff it. Stuff that, when you think about it, we really don’t need. This stuff creates more garbage, more waste rotting up our landfills, polluting our rivers, killing our wildlife.
Developers have the opportunity to design with integrity rather than be a perpetrator. Imagine if all development was focused on ecosystem innovation building resilient communities rather than purely profits. Image if communities had mandates in place that protected the overall health of its people and resources. Responsible building codes, peaceful parks, community gardens, carbon sequester forests, and green belts for nature. Visualize a community where homeowners get tax credits for energy reduction, planting edible medicinal gardens, dumping less trash, driving less, and bonuses for stimulating a local economy of “green businesses.” Communities that are focused on conservation and responsible agricultural development nourish the people and the land leaving a healthy habitat for humanity and all life. Why not subsidize farmers and businesses that produce sustainable products and services rather than industrial factory farms and large corrupt corporations. How much unnecessary toxic stuff do we NEED?
We are in the era of rebuilding confidence in citizens. To be active in civic and business decisions that impact your community is rewarding. Working together to create policies that make changes to how developers build and communities grow is essential to the future. What can you do immediately that would have an impact? How about something as simple as gardening?
Create a roof top garden, clean an old abandoned lot for a community garden, start an elementary school gardening initiative. Teach children, and the community, the importance of connecting ourselves with the soil, with Mother Nature. Connecting back with nature is essential for the progression and survival of the human race—and the survival of our communities and our families. Check out this link https://www.sustainablecommunities.gov and see what our government has in store to help make your community more sustainable.
Founder of Soil to Soul Solutions
Go out there and inspire someone today to be
part of the solution and not the pollution.