Why I choose to lead a sustainable lifestyle

As this is my first entry, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gavin and I live in Melton, Australia. I am an Information Technology professional.

Over the last 17 months, my family and I have been on an incredible and wonderful journey of highs and lows, in the quest to lower our carbon footprint and become more sustainable in going about our daily lives.

It all started with a viewing at my workplace of “An Inconvenient Truth” in which former U.S. presidential candidate Al Gore describes the growing risk of climate crisis. That was back in September 2006.

What a day! After the movie, a wave of emotion came over me (more like guilt for sins past), and as my office building was some 5 Km from the cinema, I chose to walk and think long and hard about what actions I could take. There was no way I was going to place more carbon into the atmosphere after knowing what I now knew.

I remember getting back to the office after the 1 hour 40 minute walk, with throbbing blisters on my feet. I forgot that I was wearing a new pair of leather shoes, therefore the blisters! I don’t believe that I did any work all afternoon, I just wanted to know more, and what action I could take.

After driving home, I tried to explain my feelings to my family, but no-one understood what I was going on about. There was not a single person that knew what the ramifications were of the human race warming the planet above the historical high of 280 ppm of Carbon Dioxide. I went to bed, tired, confused, but determined to do something, but still not really knowing what.

An amazing day in retrospect!

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Comments

  1. says

    Wow, that sounds pretty familiar in some ways. Only I didn’t have a single epiphany like you, it sort of built up over time and crept up on me. It started with little things (“let’s grow organic vegies so we don’t have to eat pesticides!”), and has been growing steadily.

    We still have a way to go, but we’re now involved in our local council’s Sustainable Illawarra Super Challenge, which is giving us lots of motivation and resources to become more sustainable.

    Of course, being an IT person like yourself, I also have to blog about it :-).

    I’ve been enjoying reading your blog. Keep up the great work!

  2. says

    You know, there must be something to this sustainable living thing and working in IT because that makes 3 of us! Maybe it’s the artificial environment our workplaces generally consist of? Or maybe it’s wondering if there’s a better way to cool a server room than a power hungry A/C unit…

    Thanks for your site Gavin, I’ll be staying tuned.

  3. says

    Make that 3.
    I know the epiphany thing, – I had one too, it was in 1999 – everyone thought I was demented too, some, I can safely assume, still do. But less and less does it make you a fringe dweller. It’s been great to watch ‘The Great Global Epiphany’ over the past ten years. Look forward to spotting more on your blog and best of luck with the quest.

  4. Anonymous says

    It’s great that you’ve decided to go Green and to share it with us. I applaud you for trying to find sustainable means of living. It’s so hard to find people who actually talk the talk and live the talk today. Unlike Al Gore who keeps preaching about global warming but continues to use 17x energy more than the average American. http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp

  5. says

    Hi Gavin,

    Just found your blog, you have some really great articles. I too had an epiphany from watching An Inconvenient Truth though I am not from the IT industry :p It is so difficult at first to process the information you receive in the movie and then try to express it to family and friends. I struggled for a really long time with that, getting called a Greenie and all those things they think are insulting. I just wanted to say how good it is to find others who share my feelings, thank you for leading the way with your blog. Your actions are commendable!

  6. says

    Hi Gavin,
    You’ve certainly created some confusion out here in the ‘sustainable community’ in Geelong. I’m also called Gavin and I’m also an IT consultant. I was ‘greened’ several years ago. I started an environmental lobbying organisation, stood for the Greens, started a Transition movement and have a sustainable home with food garden also.
    So when you once spoke here plenty of people thought it was me.
    I’ve also heard that you have the same surname as me (Brown) but that may be a myth.
    Cheers,
    Gavin.

  7. says

    Gavin, I am enjoying all of you many lessons, but I need to jump back to the worms,since we are nearing the fall and winter seasons here. I have my worms in a container of similar material to yours,and they are outside.The winters here in Kentucky get pretty cold at times. Our garage has water pipes, so we must keep the temperature, above freezing.With it being insulated good, that is no problem.Do I need to move my worm bin inside the garage?This is my first serious effort for keeping composting worms.

    (http://lifeisshortsawn61.blogspot.com)

  8. says

    Hi Sue, yes I would highly recommend that you bring your worm farm inside. In their natural environment worms can just dig down deeper to escape the frozen ground, however they cannot do this in a worm farm.

    Better safe than sorry,

    Gav x

  9. Anonymous says

    I’m in adelaide, and I’ve recently started making my own yoghurt, baking my own bread. My next step is making cheese. My question is. Where do I find the rennet (the vegetarian variety), and also the mesophillic and the calcium chloride? And does it work out cheeper to make your own cheese?

  10. says

    Hi Gavin

    Great to discover your inspiring story and read about your journey.

    I am one of a small group of volunteers on the Sunshine Coast, QLD who have been developing a project about just this – it’s called Green Journey (http://www.greenjourney.com.au).

    Our goal is to educate and inspire people on their journey towards living a more sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle and share stories about people making it a reality. It’s a place to connect with like-minded people, groups and organisations, with loads of free resources, videos and practical tips on how to take one small step at a time to make simple changes that are better for our health and that of our planet.

    Have linked to your blog and hope you’ll come visit – we’re on the same page! Keep inspiring others.

    Cheers,
    Anne, Founder – Green Journey

  11. says

    Gavin, I love your blog. I have met and am going to marry a Australian, We live in a little stone cottage, and so far have put in a garden and I havent used the dryer this year. I think I will give it away. We just added Chooks and Danny is interested in Cheese Making as I am in spinning wool and alpaca and making soap. Thanks for all the great ideas and instructions

  12. says

    I found your site via the youtube video made with your Camembert cheese, and thought I would have a look at what you were doing and how it went. I thought I would have a look at why yu choose this lifestyle as I am in the process of clearing everything I can out of the back garden and start garden beds to a: get better food and b: save a bit of money. What amazed me the most is we live in the same town! Great job, I will keep reading as I am also eager to learn more
    Thanks Mandie

  13. says

    Hi Gavin: Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Readers Appreciation Award the other day on my blog – because you know I’ve been enjoying and admiring your blog for eons. You’re a great role model.

  14. says

    Gavin, because sailorssmallfarm nominated me at the same time as she nominated you, I started following your blog and I am going to share information about you with my readers as well.

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