Even with this weeks bright news that we have an (austerity) royal wedding on the cards, the palpable sense of doom is still rife in the UK. In our house, that is probably something to do with the fact that my husband is Irish and horrified at the news that the IMF is going in to Ireland to take over the banking crisis. More broadly, my colleagues in the public sector are all considerably jittery about their jobs and the future is certainly looking uncertain. So what happens to a sustainable lifestyle when it is put under pressure?
According to a recent post om Amelia's magazine, the financial mess we're in ain’t going nowhere, but it could provide an opportunity to change our lives for the better. She gives a fierce account of what could be in store in http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/earth/transition-towns-conference-2010-the-automatic-earth-stoneleigh-lecture-on-the-financial-crisis/2010/08/06/. But in the end she is upbeat, saying: "We are living through exciting times of change. We cannot sustain our current pathological capitalist world economy so now is the perfect time to prove a more positive model of living and the folks involved sustainable initiatives around the world are perfectly placed to showcase these new ideas."
For me, I constantly struggle to find a balance between contributing to the mainstream economic system as it is and trying to live a greener life. Some things have become more 'green' in an age of austerity. For example, I am still not clothes shopping and my son still wears hand-me-downs; we still don't own a car and we grew a lot of vegetables this summer. The fact that international travel is so expensive will also probably mean that we forgo the long-haul this year in order to save money (despite pressure from far flung friends and family to visit!). But those things that require investment are also on the backburner: that loft insulation I've been meaning to put in; the organic farm delivery; the complete life overhaul that would make us more self-sufficient. The Good Life it ain't. Not yet anyway.