At Cheers Neighbours Network in Banksia Grove, we do care a lot about the natural environment, and just like every other “Joe and Joanne Citizen” out there, we feel powerless to do much about it. When it comes to sustainability, we are equally concerned about water, peak fossil-fuels, oceanic titration and over-trawling, economic unsustainability, Gospel justice and stewardship, and environmental limits.
It seems that the Law is too micro-focussed to help, Business & Economics are too cannibalistic to help, and Politics just isn’t focussed enough to help. So I am a pessimist about humans’ ability to change before it is too late.
But even so, here’s what we do as a matter of integrity. It sounds like a lot, but most of it has just been built into our lifestyles to be easy.
- We enlist doubters of climate change (rather than argue) on the common grounds of conservation. Some may disagree that the climate is warming, but they agree that we can’t keep consuming fossil fuels at this rate. After this point, the rest is detail.
- Theologically we suspect this earth (of time and space) may yet also be part of the new heaven and earth (of more dimensions), or at least play a part in God’s plans for quite some time beyond its apparent use-by date.
- We verbalize that we need to use this current energy frenzy to invent and roll-out sustainable energy infrastructure.
- We promote solutions when we see them, across our neighborhood e-network, (Like energy efficient built-form, our local water table care watchdogs www.wancrew.org, camp topics like natural wonders, the air/electric car.) We showed An Inconvenient Truth, and Who killed the Electric Car, Storyofstuff.com, Copenhagen 15.
- We call on business leaders to get with Dick Smith and figure out how to work the economy sustainably.
- Politically, we personally encourage our Federal, State, and Local representatives to work for legislation and infrastructure: a green economy; green waste management; alternative energy research-development-promotion-installation; fossil fuel dependancy; ocean care; justice for the most vulnerable in all this.
- We are fully aware that it will cost us dollars and a lowering of our inflated “standard of living.” Therefore…
- We must have serious legislation with serious sanctions, rather than leave the future to “economic forces” which are essentially cannibalistic.
- We harangued our local property developers to install mandatory caveats for energy-efficient building plans. We introduced them to the experts in energy efficient design. They did at least make their builders supply cheap energy-efficient house-plan options for prospective buyers.
(We built our house along solar/energy efficient lines, and did it without paying more.
And we personally installed 13 solar panels that pretty much run our house.)
- Where we can, we teach others to do the same.
- We dream of getting air cars or electric cars, but they are not yet available. We would pay a premium for them, as we did for the solar panels. It actually makes economic sense in the long run. Meanwhile…
- We buy LPG and low-consumption cars.
- We travel less by using Skype where possible, meeting locally rather than further afield, and using public transport when we can.
- We support our local government’s initiatives to recycle waste.
- We wash dishes, and recycle rubbish, rather than waste.
- We volunteer through the local residents association, and one of us runs the environmental portfolio.
- We plant trees on Tree Day, and pick up rubbish on Clean Up Australia Day in May (We made it May here because it’s too hot in March.)
We learn about, and plant, indigenous medicinals and edibles at home and in local bush reserves.
- We wear hand-me-down network clothes rather than buying new.
- We explain about Jesus to help people become Christians, and we hope that, if we reach critical mass of faith in God, then God might heal the land.
- We grow our own veges and chickens, and plant fruit trees in reach of pedestrians.
- We buy local produce with a smaller carbon-footprint.
Well I’m feeling a bit better anyway about our overall impact. If something is useful to you, feel free to ask me more about it. Probably our biggest story is our battle for energy efficient housing design.