Sunday, April 15, 2012

The No Garbage Life

What would a life without garbage look like? What if you could wake up in the morning and go out into your yard to pick an apple, orange or plum to start your day? Walking back to the house you check and see some of your strawberries are ripe so you pick a few and take them inside too. No packaging or plastic bags, just a quick rinse in the sink.

How about some freshly baked granola with milk? Good thing you cooked up a batch last night with those fresh oats you bought at the farmer's market last weekend. You filled up your canvas bag with a whole pound of them and purchased some canola oil in a glass bottle that you can resuse when it is empty. The milk is fresh from the dairy down the road which also sells in glass reusable bottles.

As you are cleaning up the dishes, you remember to throw that ball of dough into the oven to bake a loaf for lunch. You bought the flour in bulk also and topped off your five pound flour jar right at the store, paying for the difference in weight. That fresh bread sure will make a nice sandwich for lunch. After you scrape your scraps into the compost bucket under the sink, you wash your dishes and think about how the dish water contributes to watering your garden vegetables since you rerouted the drains for all grey water.

A few hours later for lunch you slice up some of that fresh bread you baked earlier and cut a few pieces of the goat cheese you made last month. Topped off with some fresh lettuce from your garden and mustard seed you ground yourself, it tastes better than anything you have ever bought in a store.

Your friends from down the road are coming by for dinner and bringing a whole chicken raised on their farm that they killed and cleaned that day. You roast the chicken in your outdoor wood burning oven while you serve some of that fresh bread, butter from your own goat's milk and roasted garlic you dug out of your garden the day before. Potatoes, asparagus and fresh dill all from your garden round out your dinner.

You go to bed that night without having created even one scrap of garbage that couldn't be recycled, composted or resused in some way.

Now this vision might seem utopic to some, but why not make it the goal for which we are striving? Why do we accept the energy intensive, garbage producing, wasteful lifestyles that define 'modern' living? This is the vision of a self-sufficient lifestyle, one that can be sustained indefinitely. The lifestyle of our modern society cannot. Which one would you rather live?

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