The Grassroots Global Web

Have you noticed how the off-grid, sustainable living movement is increasingly wired in? You can subscribe to @HomeGrownDOTorg on Twitter and like the Solar Living Institute on Facebook. How strange is the small farmer with his hands in the dirt one moment and his eyes trained on YouTube the next? How odd is the gardener who chooses her seeds based on how her blog poll results came in?

We now take these types of scenarios for granted, but this way of being is atypical for our species. Minus the last couple of centuries, mankind has been entirely present with the land. Knowledge on how to be self-sustained came from family and tribe members and was learned early. To not be self-sustainable meant to not be sustained at all. Then came large cities and civilization. To survive the times many of our recent ancestors had to unlearn how to farm, preserve food, hunt and gather. They picked up more relevant skills like running machines and working with the written word.

Now, here we are, leaving the giant machines to relearn what our ancestors let go. Too many of us got tired of only being let outside on the weekends. The difference between now and 40 years ago is that we don’t want to leave society to reconnect with Nature. The difference between now and a couple centuries ago is that we aren’t willing to unlearn what we were born into. We like our friends, our communities, and our innovation. We are in love with our technology nearly as much as we are with the Earth. This feels uncomfortable at times, the melding of the two worlds, but for the most part we’re enjoying ourselves immensely.

Hope is replacing guilt. Rather than denounce all “progress” as inherently evil for what it has done to much of the planet, we’ve started to get clear and selective. We are assessing that long-shot of seven generations ahead with a spark of ingenuity. Working in the dirt has helped ground us in our commitment. Soaring on the Internet has helped us broadcast our optimism. By combining the elements of the Earth and the airwaves we are seeing real change. There is a beautiful web of us across the globe involved in this grassroots movement. It is a magic time to be involved.

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Growing Spaces
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