What is the vision?
A Sustainable Living vision calls us take to take positive steps to change our lives, at home and in our local communities. This vision is only effective when people respond in a Grass Roots initiative to create a positive energy and innovative solutions that change our personal and collective lifestyles. Such a response cannot be commanded - it must be inspired by the vision (and the challenge) of sustainable living. The sustainable living movement would have this kind of vision: one that puts the people first and calls for grass roots collaborative design that is focused on our “built” habitats that will transform our homes and communities to a new pattern of ecological life support.
My conclusion is that the sustainable living vision can inspire the self-motivation and creative excitement needed to drive a worldwide collaboration. Such a collective effort should not adopt traditional organizational and administrative structures. It needs to express a self-directing and self-organizing style that can encourage and mobilize a massively parallel effort by multitudes of inspired people who can now share information, communicate and collaborate in teams over the Internet. Our Web Community (modeled after the GNU/Opensource and Linux development community) will not be problem focused but rather, solution centered and capable of rapid creation and testing of solutions; followed by wide spread implementation. When the criteria is sustainable living, then a merit based system of collaboration will sort out those best practices that are accessible, affordable, adaptable, and appropriate to the local conditions. Sustainability as a vision will deliver solutions that are scalable from where we live—in our homes—to where we work and play in our communities.
Sustainability looks at the human habitat in its relation to the natural environment. In distinction to the environmentalist’s focus, which is on the disruption of the natural world by humans, Sustainable Living would bring a natural order to our built environment so that we can live self-sufficiently within the bounds of our homes, communities and our commercial and industrial sites. At its best, achieving sustainability would completely eliminate the impact of human communities and activities on their surroundings. Our habitations could become more decentralized and interfaced with nature because our proximity would do no harm; in fact our activity would seek to become beneficial and restorative of the damage that our former un-sustainable lifestyles have already inflicted.
Where is this program to be implemented? That would be your home and mine. Who is in charge? That would be you and me, all working together in small groups with a global support network. This process is also inclusive of everyone who wants to enjoy a sustainable lifestyle and is directed at DIY Users? as much as professionals and businesses. It will be discovered that there is no better lifestyle to be found at any price. We will build a secure, healthy, satisfying, natural and harmonious way of life. We will discard, avoid and gradually eliminate the toxic, harmful and destructive aspects of modern living. There will be many, many pioneers and a huge variety of solutions for sustainable living. This Grass Roots know-how will be openly accessible to everyone with permission to use, improve, make, duplicate and distribute in any manner possible to the imagination and resourcefulness of this worldwide web community. We will publish and share our experience and know-how without restriction or constraint.
Therefore, I hope you can support me in this conclusion: Sustainable Development can only be based on our knowledge of Sustainable Living and this is a grass roots issue. It is bottom up - not top down. Information and knowledge guide it - but it must be a reality and not a philosophy. It is to be expressed in action and not only words. It is concerned with our day-to-day life and will affect the ordinary things that we all do every day. I believe we should, in the first place focus on Sustainable Living; get this right first and then sustainable development will naturally follow.
At the beginning of this new millennium, we now possess the communication and collaboration means to mobilize an unimaginably large pool of human capacity, skills, know-how and talent, - therefore, why not build a sustainable living vision that everyone can share and act upon by participation here at our Solaroof Wiki? Together we can BUILD a Sustainable Future.