We imagine our future together a lot. We would create our own compost and focus on perennial crops which would enrich the soil life and, in turn, would contribute to higher crop yields and create the perfect environment for local wildlife and plants to flourish. We’ll live more simply but I expect we’ll still have many luxuries such as a TV, various kitchen gadgets and our beloved Google home device. Being mostly self-sufficient would mean little money on bills and groceries which would mean less need to work and more time to spend on the land (which is still working, but for ourselves instead of lining the pockets of some already rich alien you’ll never meet at the top of a corporate chain).
The most effective ways an average person can reduce their carbon footprint is by growing their own food and reducing the amount of meat/dairy they eat. Food travels a long way from other countries and often gets thrown in a bin when it reaches its best-by-date (an arbitrary date with little meaning in my world). Growing your own reduces the need for intensive agricultural practices which are destroying the planet – even something as little as balcony grown lettuce or indoor potted herbs can make a difference.
By collecting our own rainwater and making use of our own wastewater, we could reduce the strain that exists in our current systems. Aquifers are struggling to refill and water is scarce, even though it might not be noticeable when we run our taps. Solar panels and wind turbines are getting progressively cheaper and help reduce our reliance on burning fossil fuels for energy. If you can’t afford to get your own then you can at least move to a renewable energy only company like Octopus Energy.
Me and my partner got our allotment almost as soon as I came back from my travels and we were so grateful to have it during lockdown. It has brought us so much peace and joy. We have grown so much of our own food, reduced our weekly grocery payments, watched nature, had BBQs and found a new connection with ourselves and the environment around us. I’ve even started studying once a week to get my RHS Level 2 qualification and turn my passion into a full-time career.
It’s amazing that we grow up learning so much at school and yet our knowledge about the inner workings of the world is completely non-existent. I can build a website and write content for a blog but I can’t grow my own tomatoes. I don’t know how much energy or water I use. I can’t distinguish a poisonous plant from an edible one. Heck, I didn’t even know where the food I ate came from half the time. These seem like essential skills to have lost.
I’d trade a lot of my comforts today for the chance to work with the soil and cook with my own produce full-time. Not only is there an inner peace that comes from working with nature and not against it, but there’s also a resilience you build. While I don’t expect an Armageddon style event, the pandemic has taught me that anything can happen and the more self-sufficient I am, the more resistant I am. After all, it seems crazy that we rely on singular systems to survive without a plan for what we will do when those systems fail. I think about food shortages and water supply issues as the most likely to happen in our lifetime.
I guess you could say I have grown a passion for learning how to give back as much as I take from the earth. I’m not sure I’ll ever make up for the consumption of my younger self but I can try and be an example that will inspire others – that would be enough for me.
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Thank you for taking the time to submit your story and your passion Natasha. For our first ever Guest Blogger, you’ve certainly set the standards high. We think your story will resonate with most viewers and make us think a little bit deeper when we’re eyeing up our vegetables in the supermarket.
You’ll find Natasha’s links below if you want to follow her Carbon reducing lifestyle and immerse yourself in her beautiful allotment.