Saturday, February 7, 2009


My wife asked me today what my dream house would be. She found her dream house. It looks like a barn and costs twice as much as we could get financed. Actually I like the same house that she does, but it's not necessarily my dream house. I don't think I have a dream house. I have a dream. I dream of living a sustainable life. In fact, I would love to be able to live without going to the grocery store. I would like to grow my own food, get around under my own power and provide services that would benefit those around me.

At this point in my life that dream is not feasible. In fact, I think that dream would only be possible if I didn't have to work. Quite frankly, I like my job and don't want to leave it. What I do is a service to those who need it and I love doing it. So my dream house isn't even the most desirable thing for me right now.

I still haven't gotten to the part where I figure out what my dream house is. At this point my dream is to take a big step toward being more sustainable. I would love to commute by bike as I did at my last job. I would love to have a big garden. I want chickens. I think it would be fun to have goat instead of a lawnmower. I want to reuse gray water. I want to collect rain water from the roof. The thing is that I can't do it all. We had already figured that.

I can afford to do more of the things that I want to the further I live away from work. I cannot, however, commute by bike if I live too far out. The question becomes which is more sustainable, to live a long ways out and commute by motorcycle while making big steps to make my home sustainable or living in the city unable to afford to make the changes I want in my home and commuting by bicycle.

I really enjoy commuting by bicycle and would like nothing more than to continue, but I also want to learn how to do other things sustainably. I want to learn how to raise chickens and run a sustainable home. I think that education would be priceless and it would be nearly impossible to make that happen in the city. I would be excited about the opportunities of country living, but it would cost me my bike commute. The education that I need to reach my ultimate goal cannot reasonably be attained in the city, so I'm really leaning toward living far from the city and commuting. We'll see what happens.


Laurel-Anne said...

Hi Sans

I definitely think you should live further out and commute. There are enough people who want to live in the city that they really don't need people who would rather live somewhere else.

Have you heard of electric hub motors for your bicycle?

cyclingred said...

I vote against living far out. :) Actually there are not enough people who want to live in the city. That is why we have urban sprawl and are losing green space to rural lifestyle ranchettes.

But if you want to live far out you ought to read "Farewell My Subaru". It is entertaining.

Try being creative with sustainable living in closer to work. I think it can be done.

Did you ever follow up on My John Jeavons suggestion?

Nate said...

Yeah, get a motor for your bike and pedal half of your commute and cruise the rest.

Don't give up on your dreams just because it can't happen all at once. Rome wasn't built in a single day, you know.

Baby steps, brother, baby steps. We're pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

What about commuting part way by bike? Bike to bus stop, bike to carpool, or car to bike starting point, etc.
I to wish I could commute by bike. My route to work just isn’t bike friendly. Angry with city planners.