I was inspired by a recent post at Casaubon's Book. In the post, Sharon suggested using the words "regenerative/degenerative" instead of the over-used and now somewhat meaningless "sustainable/unsustainable". For some reason - maybe it's my positive new outlook - "regenerative" just fits as we head into 2008. Not harming the environment is not enough. We need to change attitudes and do something affirmatively good for ourselves and our world. This can be exciting, invigorating and downright, well, regenerative. Here are ways I plan to "regenerate in 2008":
- Garden more. We've used so much of agricultural land and animal habitat for homes, lawns, streets, sidewalks, stores and so on that there is not much open space left. With mass extinctions and a dwindling world food supply, we need to re-create what has been lost. That is where you and I - the average Joe on the street - come in. As cool as green roofs are, I don't see one in my future any time soon. Instead, I'll turn to my small suburban yard. I'll eek away at the lawn and replace it with more permaculture. I'll grow more of my own food and create my own backyard habitat for local wildlife.
- Build community. I've posted several times about the importance of building a support network within your own neighborhood and city. In that regard, I will continue my efforts to get the Green Book Club off the ground. We've only met one time so far but have 15 interested and interesting women signed up to read and discuss environmentally relevant books. The book club is currently focused on the local eating books (e.g., Plenty, Omnivore's Dilemma and likely Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is next) but may move into sustainable, I mean regenerative gardening books in the spring.
- Re-connect with natural places. Getting out in nature not only regenerates our "plugged in" children. It is equally rejuvenating for us adults who spend too much time parked in front of the TV or a computer. I plan to get my family out for regular hikes instead of weekend jaunts to an amusement park or the zoo. Our "big trip" this year will be to some undisturbed wild place - Bryce and Zion or Yellowstone.
- Re-generate my self. Again, I'm not talking about re-growing body parts. I plan to cut the fat, literally. I'm joining Crunchy Chicken's Project NOWASTE challenge/support group and plan to lose 8-10 pounds attributable to too much "organic" junk food. I will work on eating more local produce and less sugar and chocolate - no more how organically grown or fairly traded. Too much is too much and is not good for my health, my jeans, my confidence or the environment.
Whew. I feel tired, ummm, I mean, exhilarated just thinking about all this regeneration. As we greet the New Year, we might all wonder how we can regenerate in 2008.