taking from the Earth Mother

My anger about he fast pace in which we are tearing our natural world apart is transforming into concern and a more urgent notion that we have to change our lives more radical and faster. In only two months we’ll move to a farm in the south of Holland that will give us more possibilities for eco friendly living. But most people do not live on a farm, but in big cities, just as we are now. I’ll share some of the things we do to try and live a simple, clean and nature supporting life in the city. In a consuming, modern environment that comes down to two rules :

  1. What do I really need?
  2. What do I spend my money on?
  • My father once taught me that the most power we have in our society is where and on what we spend our money. That’s why now we spend half (!) of our income on sustainable food full of life force. First this felt like a lot, now it feels normal. Responsible produced food is the most important thing not only for our health, but also for every being on this planet and for our future. Plus not so long ago people would spend ALL of their time and effort collecting food that would nurture them.
  • We buy organic, local and  food from good quality only. When we are broke we simply eat less or buy food that is more simple. Meat and fish are a treat once in a while, we buy two liters of raw cow milk and two liters of yoghurt each week for four people. When we’re through, we wait for next week and eat or drink other things.
  • Take the bicycle or walk as much as possible. We do have a unfortunately polluting car and have much debate about it (I’d like to try without, Mr T is still attached the freedom of owning a car) but use it as aware and little as possible. I try to not fly at all anymore, Mr T has his own thoughts on this when it comes to his job.
  • We try to buy as little as possible (which stills feels like a lot with small children) and try second hand as much as possible.
  • If we need something we wait at least a week to buy it, most often after this time the ‘thing’ is suddenly not needed anymore, or someone can give it or lend it to us, or miraculously we find a way to repair it.
  • We try to make things ourselves. This saves not only money, it is also fun, makes you feel proud and often takes surprisingly little effort. For example making deodorant by mixing coconut oil, bio carbonate soda and a little tea tree oil (under 1 euro – 30 seconds every month). Or 5 liters of washing detergent by adding boiling water to half a bar of grated natural soap (1,50 euro – 5 minutes every month). Make candles by buying (bees or soya) wax and some wick online. (3 euros – 10 minutes for as many candles as you like). And the list goes on. Pinterest is a wonderful source for about anything DIY.
  • We try to reduce waste and separate our garbage and everything compostable goes to the compost pile in our (very small city) garden. Everything still edible goes to our chickens or rabbits whom we feed some biological, nicely made grains too.
  • The chickens give us eggs in return for our leftovers and rabbits are so loving and tender they teach us about love and harmony. Their dung goes on the compost pile too which provides excellent nutrition for the plants.
  • In this tiny (edible) garden we grow 6 different kind of fruits and lots of flowers and different herbs.
  • We are members of a local energy cooperation that generates energy in a sustainable way.
  • We are with to a bank that invests in our future, rather than destroy it. We also have our mortgage with this bank, even if that means we can lend less and pay more interest.
  • I started drinking oat milk in my coffee (actually good!) and choose vegan when I can.
  • We have as little electric devices in the house as possible. I sweep often and vacuum rarely, cook with a lid, lights off, share a bath, etc.
  • I try to make less appointments and have more time to do things with care. Bake something as a gift in stead of buying something. Listen to someone in stead of sending messages. This is not always easy and I fail a lot, but still trying.
  • Before meals we say thank you to Mother Earth, to the stars, the sun, the rain and the wind, and to all the people and animals that contributed to our food. The kids don’t always like to do it, so often I do it alone… Or we forget…. But still, I try at least once a day to thank our surroundings for everything they provide us with, their generosity, their abundance. I regularly do a little ritual in our garden where I thank all of my plants, the animals, the Earth and Sky and offer some tobacco.
  • We meditate everyday at sunrise and at least once a day. It helps to clear the clutter from the mind and the heart and keep priorities straight when things get hectic.
  • I try to see house chores as valuable as work. Not because I love it so much, but because I know that taking care of life is the most importnat thing if I want to do my work, to keep love and health circulating freely and have the conscious that I am connected and it is not only my responsibility to take care of my children, but also for their (natural) surrounding for their future and wellbeing.
  • And last but not least : I try to want less. The wanting seems to me like the real modern disease. More stuff, more time, more recognition, more love, a city trip, a new anything, a better xxx … I try to go back to myself and ask the needing part in me what do you really need? And the answer is often just some loving attention or some silence. Nothing you can’t give yourself in just 2 seconds without any effort.

There are a million trillion zillion more things I could do to make our life environmentally friendlier, to give Mother Earth back a tiny bit of what we take from her. One step at a time I’m going there with the knowledge and the stamina I feel in that moment, hoping it will help, hoping to raise my consciousness just a little bit and understand better what it is we humans truly need.

 

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