We have a community of local people who are gathered together, primarily through an email list.  The community grows all the time.  Some of us get together for house parties to study and discuss.  Currently we are using the Post Carbon Institute’s online video course Think Resilience as the basis of our study.

Some like to do trail work and show up when we attend organized events in the area.  Some are doing the video course on their own and some just enjoy getting the emails we send.  This is what we are about: honoring each person and their time and their personal choices.  My husband and I are working to become a zero-waste house.  We have already learned from others in our community and appreciate the sharing.  We are keeping a list of tips shared by the community here:   A list of things citizens are doing in Transylvania County to reduce their carbon footprint.  Please feel free to share your tips and we will add them to the list.  Email us at jbwkjc@gmail.com to share.  You can email us there if you want to be added to our community email list as well.

We vary in age from 20 something to 70 something.  The discussion is amazing and insightful.  I was recently touched by something our youngest member said at a house party and asked if she would write it down so that I could share it.  She did and you can see it below.  It touched me because I realize in my mind, I have been giving a “pass” to this age group regarding their use of convenience technology.  Emma opened my eyes and I wanted to share her words of wisdom.  Thanks Emma for the gift of your time and sharing these words.


Emma at the Gift of Time PopUp Coffeehouse

This is mostly in regards to cooking, but certainly has begun to apply to other areas of my daily life as well. It is very time consuming and thought consuming to make things by hand in a sustainable and low waste way. With working four days a week and taking classes, this is even harder to do and find the motivation for. When I come home from work and still have homework, the last thing I’m thinking about, or wanting to do, is cook myself a meal that requires work and preparation. It is so much easier to grab something on the way home or throw something wrapped in plastic in the microwave.

However, this mentality has begun to change. My sister has had a large part in changing it. She works, has two kids, and classroom preparation, yet she manages to cook really wonderful meals that are extremely mindful and focused on doing things by hand. For example, she makes her own tortillas and sauce if she is making enchiladas. The way she has incorporated this into the ecology of her family is beautiful and you can tell her children have a real appreciation for it. I have started to realize that preparing food like this for myself is not a chore, but time I am carving out for myself to find some stillness and time to think during the day. It has become meditative to chop, to stir, to fry, to bake. Seeing ingredients, especially fresh ingredients, metamorphose, from the work of my own hands, into good food is rewarding, both physically and mentally. Making my own food forces me to slow down and invest a different kind of energy into my day — a creative, self reliant, and in some ways, prideful energy.

This is not to say that somedays it doesn’t still feel like work or that I still don’t grab a burrito on my way home sometimes. But it is to say that this the beginnings of a transformation. One that I am trying to make work with my budget and time. I am always grateful to myself when I do cook a full, good meal and this is what drives me to continue doing it.