We recently watched 'Tomorrow', an inspiring, uplifting film made by a French couple (Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent), travelling the world looking for solutions to the crisis our world faces with global warming. From India to Totnes, we are shown permaculture farms, green local currencies, zero-waste cities, alternative schools (with happy children), towns totally made from recycled materials and other incredible, inspirational projects, places and people.
As I sat on the sofa watching the film, I could feel the fire in my belly rise - I don't want to waste anymore time, I want to DO SOMETHING that makes a difference. I came away with all sorts of facts and figures (65% of fossil fuel energy is absolutely wasted), but one thing I definitely realised was that it takes a community to do great things. We can't do it alone... Maybe we can make the first steps alone, but then, we need to use that to inspire, join or help others.
Having shown the documentary 'Bag It' on reducing plastics in our town a few months ago, I've since noticed how prevalent the anti-plastic movement is. Knowing how to progress is hard though, encouraging recycling is of course good, but I don't want to take away from the importance of re-using or reducing instead. Having seen there was an international campaign to ask the supermarkets for plastic free aisles, I set up a localised change.org petition, but again the longer term affects could be that we are giving the supermarkets a soft option, allowing them to continue as normal with the rest of their plastic obsessed habit. Everything needs to be thought through thoroughly, with consideration for all the implications. I can now understand why things seems to take so long to progress.
Another of the aspects from 'Tomorrow' that has stuck in my mind is that mass farming is absolutely ruinous for our world. Local and small is the greenest way to produce - and it is amazing how much can be grown in small spaces. A friend of mine has the most fantastic back garden with a system he has created which involves a duck pond, pipes and growing vegetables on water, he calls it Quackaponics. People are amazing, the ideas out there are abundant and fascinating and if more of us could get together and utilise our different strengths - more could be done. I know I am good at getting things 'out there' but I need help with deciphering the excel spread-sheets...
I have never been successful with growing a seed to a plant, but I am assured a grow-bag is the way forward so I am going to start with that. I have suddenly been given lots of plants by people; tomatoes, sweet-peas, strawberries and all sorts of herbs and I am inspired to try and keep them alive. I like the idea of learning to be self-sufficient, and as a lady from Detroit from the documentary 'Tomorrow' says "Growing your own food gives you a kind of boost! I can survive!"