Hi, my name is Nick, I’m 37 years old, I live in the Blue Mountains, and I’m the son of The Baglady, AKA Shirley Lewis.
The Baglady has come up with this idea of Living ASAP and along with that, Mum & Son ASAP. This is all about living As Sustainably As Possible, in order to minimize our negative impact on the natural environment.
Here I’m going to be sharing with you my experience of what this has been like, how it’s impacted my thoughts and behaviour, in hopefully as honest yet positive an introspection as possible.
Well, I guess it’s easy for me to just think that my mother has always been over the top about sustainability, at least for the past 20+ years,
but I can’t say that without also expressing my apprecation for the idea of each person being more self responsible and aware of how their day to day habits and life style impact their environment. Through a period of years at this point, I can probably say that I’m getting pretty close to having almost no resistance to the lifestyle and habit changes that I think initially I would have scoffed at.
Of course, initially the resistance to changing my way of thinking was high, as by default, a son has a tendency to generally not want to do anything that his mother requests of him, especially when it may seem “over the top”, unreasonable, or just plain nutty! That being said, even if I did see it like this in any stage of my “development” into becoming a more sustainable person, I still was appreciative of the overall intention of this way of seeing things.
Throughout the course of living with Mum, and getting in the habit of thinking in a more ASAP way, I think it’s actually become fairly natural, and easy for me to think about things in terms of being more sustainable. Mum may say that I still miss some things, and this may be true as my experience on certain things like what can and can’t be recycled these days, can be a little off (as it seems that this topic for example is undergoing some degree of change, in regards to the types of plastics that are now recycleable). That being said, I think in comparison to the average human, my awareness and ability to live in an ASAP manner is fairly high percentile these days.
I think before I lived with mum, I would be aware of recycling on a very basic level, and my actions would follow from that. As an example, I might put something in the recylcling bin that was partially recyclable, whereas now I understand that there are various different elements to many product wrappings, and some of them are recyclable, whilst some are clearly not. A good specific example of this is the product that I use for my coconut milk, which I use in tea, etc – the whole carton itself is not actually recyclable due to the fact that it has a plastic/wax lining throughout. The lid however is dense plastic only, and therefore is definitely able to be recycled.
Another example of something that I’ve more recently become more keenly aware of, much to Mum’s exasperation I’m sure… Is that clothes washing times should be closely related to the encroaching weather, and therefore planned based on the coming weather for the next 12-36 hours. It’s also highly inefficient (and smelly) to wash clothes, and then have them sitting in the washing basket not drying for several hours after the machine wash cycle has been completed!
I think behavior change starts to happen more automatically as one understands the interelated nature of things, and how the day to day life stuff that we all have to take care of interacts with the larger forces at work, like in this example washing clothes at the right time based on the lack of clouds in the sky.
Nick – My opinion is that with our current state of consciousness we humans are doomed, and we need to take responsibility for how we look after our environment. I am not sure I’m 100% convinced that ALL of the climate change we are seeing is man made, as I do think there are possibly other factors at play. But regardless of that belief, it doesn’t really matter.
As a species, we need to evolve in many ways if we’re going to survive, and one of those ways is being more responsible and caring for both our environment and others, which comes down to basically the same thing. This involves overcoming the negative forces in the human psyche, and while definitely achievable, we have a long way to go as is made quite obvious by simply tuning into what’s happening in the world.
Mum – Keeping him busy what with measuring solar energy input, output to grid, input from grid. That’s EnASAP.
Then there’s GASAP, growing and gardening ASAP. Which includes watering seedlings every 2nd morning – the day you’re not doing the washing up. There’s vacuuming, bins, washing our own clothes, hanging them on the line to dry, sharing the cleaning. And Nick does the bins and it’s all very domesticated.
Poor old Baglady is getting weary of the merry dance of big business, bad politicians and all that. Luckily, here in the Blue Mountains we’ve got 2 really good ones – Susan Templeman and Trish Doyle. Both Labor, both women and both ready to embrace change…