After reading the materials from the lesson plan for Week 5 I was especially inspired by the “Plastic In Our Waste Dumps” article, the “Living Downstream” video, as well as the “Glyphopsate” article. My interest in the previously stated works and my concern for the waste of water resources as well as the lack of recycling of sewage materials led me to reflect on my own experience of attending the event described below.
On Friday evening I went to an art festival called The Long Arc. The event featured all kinds of art from music, to films, to interviews. The presentation that most caught my attention was by Flora Lichtman and Katherine Wells, the two women who host the online podcast The Adaptors which covers subjects related to environmental science. One important fact that they brought up was that there are ways to change our lifestyle in order to conserve the planet’s resources, but that most people resists these alterations because they go against their routine. It is confusing and it is disruptive to their daily habits. Lichtman and Wells spoke of how many people are against using recyclable water that comes from our sewage or even our own urine because the thought of it disgusts them. Even though it is perfectly potable, safe, tastes normal, and has the ability to conserve our water resources, people are off put by the idea because it goes against their morals; why would they ever drink dirty water by choice?
They then went on to speak about a series of houses built by architect Michael Reynolds called Earthships. Earthships are essentially ultra environmentally-friendly houses built solely from recycled materials from tin cans to car tires. Reynolds has managed to create a community composed of a multitude of homes in the New Mexico area. The houses are completely dependent of the environment and cost absolutely no money in terms of energy bills. There are solar panels on the roofs and rain water is retained in containers and then slowly distributed to the home owners.
This concept of Earthships really caught my attention. I was fascinated by how strongly Reynolds felt about sewage waste and how he actually went ahead and made his idea come to reality. Not only did he build the houses with his own hands, he also managed to convince so many people to take part in his project. He has been able to sell many of his houses, and is now sharing his knowledge by teaching others at his Earthships Academy.
Getting back to the idea of changing our ways, it is interesting to see how people first doubted Earthships but once they started living in them, they came to adapt, and began thinking of their new lifestyle as the norm. I believe that we as humans must push ourselves to be open-minded to new forms of environmental technologies so that we are able to slowly become comfortable with the idea of one day having to live differently. My fear is that humans will only resist new habits and will one day be forced into a new way of life. We should instead strive to embrace a new mindset while we still have a choice and the luxury of having so many resources at our disposition.