Sunday, May 22, 2011

Into the Wild

Tonight the kids and I watched Into the Wild. It was a pretty good movie, based on the story of a college graduate who decides to give up everything and live in the wild (eventually Alaska.) The man, Chris, who renames himself Alex on his journey, seems to be suffering a serious depression from his troublesome upbringing and abusive parents.

He also is extremely selfish in that he not only severs connection with those parents, but of his sister, who based on what I saw in the movie, was his greatest companion as a child.

It was interesting to see his travels throughout the US and Mexico, and then on to Alaska. Seeing the relationships he formed along the way seemed he was creating a new family (which is not entirely a bad thing.) But once again he moved on from each each person without any further contact.

Spoiler alert:

Only on his death bed did images of his family and those he inducted into his family along the way, flash through his mind (as seen in the movie as no one knows his actual last thoughts.)

Of course I expected him to live and have amazing relationships based on his experiences, not die in the Alaskan wilderness, alone. It all seemed so pointless.

I agree we all need more sustainable living, but we all have to come to the idea of what that means to us. Also it is not worth dying for.

To me sustainable living means:

knowing how to grow food from seed (something I have yet to master)
harvest said food
prepare it for cooking
cook it
feed ones family and ones self

I am no where near a place where I can do any of this. Last summer in my garden I grew maybe enough food for 5 meals. My garden is about 5 x 6, so it's not that small. If I was depending on that for summer meals or to preserve for fall and winter, no way.

to me sustainable living also means:

being able to make ones own clothes

Even though I can sew a straight line, my skills pretty much stop there. I know I could sharpen those skills with practice, but I can't make fabric or thread, so I rely on someone else to provide those for me.

to me sustainable living also means:

creating and maintaining one's own shelter

Once again I would need materials for this I can not make (tools, wood, glass, etc.) In theory I can create something very simple out of items found in nature, but would that sustain me or my family?

This movie, Into the Wild shows how he could not survive in the wild, as he was ill prepared. I don't think I could either.

However, I am not in that extreme situation and I can do things to be a better steward of this earth God gave us like:

educating myself on how to live sustainably within my means
educating myself on how to grow, harvest, and prepare plenty of food
educating myself on how to sew actual items
learning how to build basic things with real tools
reusing everything I can
harnessing power of sun and wind to provide my heat and electricity
support those who are also trying to live sustainably (like work at home moms, local business's, etc.)
buying only what I need, and even less than I think I need
consuming less (stuff, food, gas, etc.)

What is your thought on sustainable living? What are you doing about it?



Jeannette said...

Sewings ones clothes is not something that makes you substainable, it you purchase clothes and other necessities you are supporting the econonmy and keeping others in a job. If we all stopped purchasing many more people would not be able to support their families.

Becky R said...

I was thinking about making clothes as if I was trying to sustain myself and family only without anyone else.

For a sustainable economy it makes sense to buy things from stores, etc.