Monday, December 1, 2008

The Pre-Apocalyptic Lifestyle

Good Evening SuperForesters!

A term that has come up many times over the past few months that I find incredibly interesting is "Pre-apocalyptic."

I don't know who coined this term. Could've been me. But it basically means that you are not waiting for some giant global catastrophe to begin regulating how much you consume versus how much you produce.

As in, you don't have to wait until things are destroyed to start rebuilding.

SuperForester Severine would refer to this philosophy as "the Retro-fit Future." Again meaning that you don't have to tear everything down and start from scratch, not when an intermediary period of adjustment is necessary.

So living "pre-apocalyptic" can mean everything from growing your own food, to making your own clothes, to taking "Navy showers."

But what it means at its heart is: Be willing to look with objectivity at your resource consumption, and attempt to moderate that use by being productive.

A friend told me about a guest at her Thanksgiving dinner, who had fashioned his own canteen out of a glass juice bottle. He had attached a leather strap so that he could more easilly carry it.

How pre-apocalyptic!

It is an important mental step to say: "Hey, I understand now that we cannot consume our way to sustainability. What then must I do?"

The asking of the question is the victory here. For once you begin to think in terms of use vs. consumption, you won't be able to stop. Once the mindset is achieved, every decision will be influenced by it.

What are the pre-apocalyptic steps you are taking? What have you seen others doing? Do you agree with the definition? With the mindset itself?

Love to you all and thank you for reading SuperForest.


1 comment:

Christine Norrie said...

A kind of fun thing I like to do a couple times a year is take my kitchen pantry down to zero. As in... I'll pretend for a a couple weeks that it's END OF DAYS outside and: only cook and eat what I have in my kitchen.

Doing this makes one more thoughtful about how you regularly grocery shop and what it is you actually eat. I'd find in the back of the cupboard odd things like a jar of rum-soaked raspberries. What the hell?! Where did that come from? You learn to appreciate the many uses of corn meal. Lentils go a long way. How sad life would be without onions.

What I've learned from the END OF DAYS food exercise is that it makes no sense to store more than I need. In New York City we have more than an abundant amount of food! Barring a zombie invasion, it's easily at hand and much of it quickly expiring. So, I now purchase veggies and fruit that may be a bit past it's prime, but very ripe and perfect for cooking/eating within a day or two.

I also get locked into the same ol' same ol' meals and it's fun to experiment and be creative with unexpected ingredients. Making your own broth/stock is much more gratifying, resourceful, and sensible than buying it. And, always keep a slab of bacon in the freezer and a couple big cans of crushed tomatoes in the cupboard.

(I confess: I've cheated in the game by going out to grab bacon or milk. Though, I do pretend everyone's turned into zombies... so harrowing!)