Sustainable, sustainable – We hear this word so oft repeated that it has lost much of its meaning in today’s hurried world. But what SHOULD it mean when we think of the word SUSTAINABLE? What comes to YOUR mind? Growing crops without chemical fertilizers that destroy the environment and animal life (including ours!) ? Perhaps you think of recycling, reusing all those mountains of plastics and glass and other things so they don’t end up heaped in some landfill? Perhaps you see the course of human development trending towards more waste and exploitation of the environment – think clearcutting forests. Perhaps you are concerned about the massive government frivolous waste of ‘living beyond its means’ and reliance on DEBT to finance overuse of resources.
To be sustainable is to be in tune with the rhythms and patterns of nature because our natural world has been around since the beginning and will be around even if there are drastic changes. When we say sustainable, it does not mean to sustain human greed, unaware consumers, or the fast-paced life of confusion, but sustainability in our ability to provide for our needs without diminishing the chance for future generations to do the same. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.” Nature will provide with great abundance when we can respond with respect and care. Creativity, resilience, adaptability and evolution were four qualities that I noticed in my stay here at Cite Ecologique of New Hampshire.
Resilience – A plant that is resilient to disease
Creativity – Nature is full of creativity. Just think, there are over 400 varieties of heirloom tomatoes! And the creatures in the deep ocean have features that are beyond imaginable! They all have a purpose, though humans may not know it. I saw that everyone was creative in thinking through problems and obstacles that come. With the children, they exercise their creative brain through the arts and through games. Creativity is crucial to build a strong and fun sustainable community.