On July 29th the Global Footprint Network detected the 2019 Earth Overshoot Day. According to footprintnetwork.org, EOD ” marks the date when humanity has exhausted nature‚Äôs budget for the year. For the rest of the year, we are maintaining our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ” and consuming non-renewable resources. This means that we operate in overshoot, i.e., beyond the earth’s yearly limit.

Although EOD is recorded every year and despite it being a dramatic date nevertheless, this year it was particularly alarming as its detection happened to be too soon, compared to the precedent years.

Even though we know that we are not big decision-makers and that we can do only little to help our planet, we feel anyway responsible for our own actions as individuals and as groups.

It’s not by chance in fact that we joined the purpose of Kurjen Tila. All of us share the common intention to learn a sustainable lifestyle for ourselves and to later share with our own families and friends.

Sustainable lifestyle: not easy but so rewarding

When I arrived in Kurjen Tila I faced myself face to face with a big challenge: learning how to ride a bike. I know: it’s something you learn from childhood, it’s impossible not to know it in your late 20s. But I had to ride a bike necessarily because, without a wheeled friend, moving from the village to the shop or the bus stop is pretty tricky, being it quite far from the rest mof the town. Riding a bike here was even more complicated because being sustainable implies saving and recycling, and saving and recycling imply that your resources might not be that shiny and new. So they were our bikes. I still remember the day we walked around the village searching for bikes and bike pieces that we could somehow reassemble. But yes, being able to ride these bikes, being of course more difficult than riding a brand new one, is far more rewarding and satisfying.

Plus, apart from the usage of dry toilets that let us take active part in the “cycle of life”, in Kurjen Tila we try to have a deal with the earth. If we take care of her, feeding her with nourishment and our big compost, maybe she’ll pay us back with some tasty vegetable and fruits. Just now Irene is cooking a very big zucchini and our first pumpkin! And Kata is everyday picking juicy berries (redcurrants, blueberries, raspberries) and turning them into different pastries. Anne is daily picking flowers that she is able to turn into tasty organic juices and I have learnt which herbs are edible and which aren’t and with the others and Jonna we’re drying them to have a good amount of spices for our recipes. (Oh yes, and Stefano, Niels and Stirven.. well someone must be there to taste our experiments and confirm how good they are!)

Of course, a sustainable lifestyle is not easy and requires us to live our lives at slower rhytmhs. We’re learning that being sustainable means that sometimes it’s not possible to obtain everything at once, and each acheivement needs work and effort. But we do feel that saving the planet is not a one-day job and that if we can’t change the decision-makers’ ideas, we can at least take care of our own actions and do our own effort. We feel the responsibility of our actions and we hope that our efforts can stand as an example for the others. Responsibility is the opponent of fear and that is how we hope to give our contribution to the help of the Earth.

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