I had to get away during the Fourth of July holiday. I had just completed my peak oil series for the N&R and its publication provided another opportunity for the weight of the potential crisis to set in and disrupt my peace of mind. I was also consumed at the time with some analysis paralysis about whether to move from my current apartment or not, and if so, where and when. On Thursday, July 3, my husband and I decided, in a moment of last-minute frivolity, to go to Asheville for the weekend. We did not regret it and I even picked up some ideas from the plethora of green businesses and alternative media in the city.
I didn't leave with all of my questions answered, but I did get enough breathing room to contemplate the next stages of my sustainability journey. Being in Asheville did underscore Greensboro's relative lack of eco-consciousness, but I also saw this city's strengths and weaknesses as fertile soil for change. My thoughts were confirmed this past Saturday while attending a Green Dialogue session at Elsewhere collective.
Justin Leonard, active in Greensboro's urban gardening efforts, spoke on the topic of "how to grow a community" and ended his presentation with the comment that a lot of his friends set their sights on Asheville or Seattle because of how far along they are in facilitating environmentally-friendly lifestyles. But Leonard said Greensboro is ripe for change.
"We need people who are willing to stay in a place that is not really nice and do the hard work," said Leonard, who helped create a garden at Greensboro Montessori.
Leonard is right, as frustrating as that hard work might be. I'm often tempted to just pack up and move to a place that better supports the lifestyle I want to have. (Having grown up in the military, I also get bored). Trouble is, if you can't make peace with your surroundings, you are likely to carry that dissatisfaction elsewhere. You will find something else to complain about and your self-righteousness will be unjustified. After all, many people are adopting green lifestyles as a fad, not because they understand or support the underlying tenets or worldview. Plus, Seattle is expensive.