On my travels, it was a fascinating thing to see the sorts of impact our consumerism has had on the land and how clearly the world is looking for solutions to depletion of non-renewable energy sources. This was evidenced in all aspects of the environment….water, earth and air. It was interesting to see a small wind forest erected in my old hometown of Great Falls, Montana….teeny as compared to the huge fields and mountain sides sprouting wind forests all over southern Calfornia.
Second to that, the intensely parched lands that sprawled out for seemingly endless miles demonstrated the absolute critical state of our water resources. Here in Canada, we sometimes forget because of the abundance of water, that other parts of the world are already well-aware of obvious depletion of this precious resource! I had my face pressed up against my window…such contrast…Los Angeles and our own Bow River!
There were many places along the way where mountains were chewed up in massive steps and where mining provided the livelihood for an entire townspeople. Unbelievable how clearly these pictures become engrained in my mind. As a people, what alternatives might we have taken? How might we do things differently?
To be optimistic….is sometimes difficult.
However, after driving through so many locations that seemed so stunningly beautiful and so breathtakingly pristine…I am of the mind that it is NOT too late for the human family to attend to some of the issues that confront us. I urge you to think about matters such as these as you travel this great country of ours. I am reminded of two gentlemen traveling by BMW through Jasper this past spring…one fellow from Texas and the other from Germany. Each evening when they left the rustic hostel for their walk, they returned with two bags full of garbage.
I also enjoyed conversation with Thomas J. Epel of Silver Star, Montana who has taken on the building of a home that incorporates several environmentally-responsible methods.
"Living Homes takes you through the planning process to design an energy and resource efficient home that won’t break the bank. Then, from the footings on up to the roof, author Thomas J. Elpel guides you through the nuts and bolts of construction for slipform stone masonry, tilt-up stone walls, log home construction, building with strawbales, making your own "terra tile" floors, windows & doors, solar water systems, masonry heaters, framing, plumbing, greywater, septic systems, swamp filters, painting and more!"
While I am not saying that we need to all go live in sod houses, I am saying that it is the act of individual consciousness that will ultimately preserve what we have of a beautiful nation. I urge you to contribute to the conservation of our natural resources.
Three sites of interest…