Slow down even more…
I’ve been a “running”, almost hectic person in Life, trying to achieve and do as much as I could.
Day after day, the Wave of Destiny is showing me another way of living at a slower peace: enjoying the moment I’m living in, being free to stay longer in a place I like or with a new friend met on the way. Forgetting airplanes and travelling by bus or even better waiting on the side of the road to get a ride from someone like me, who likes to share and meet new people exchanging experiences.
After reaching its peak with the 10 days meditation retreat, the slow down approach is not ending and instead of heading to the second biggest city of whole Argentina, Cordoba, I opt for the small village of Capilla del Monte. Here I un-expectedly find myself inside a X-files episode. The place is indeed famous due to the UFO (Unidentified Flying Objects) around Unitorco mountain, that is believed by many to be inhabited by extraterrestrial entities made of light…
Luckily a friends brings my focus on a complete different place in town: El Jardin de los Presentes (http://eljardindelospresentes.bligoo.com.ar). In this small corner of Paradise near a river, Pablo is studying ways to be more eco-sustainable and living accordingly to nature as much as possible. His kitchen and living room are build in Barro (a mixture of sand, straw and horses’ excrements…) that on top of being completely natural and green, it isolates much better that modern techniques and preserve the heat with no need of heating (the place is indeed warmer than my current hostel! 🙂
The oven is also built by Pablo himself to optimise heating and wood consumption based on a Chilean design, while water is filtered through rocks and water plants and the dry toilet creates fertiliser for the land instead of creating garbage
I spend the next day with Pablo helping out with a construction of a wall and it’s the opportunity to learn more about this “green” movement.
He introduces me to Permaculture ideas and to the movement of “transition” that he believe is essential to build a sustainable future respecting the nature we belong and depend from.
This implies to completely re-think our globalised lifestyle of consumerism and the way we produce, consume and live. An agriculture and animal breeding that respect and enrich the land and its biodiversity instead of depredating it to boost short term production; alternative construction techniques that reduces the need of heating; reduction of waste by composting of food and use of plastic as construction material for example.
Interested by the topic I decide to push even more north and reach San Marcos de la Sierra where a group of people is living accordingly to the same ideas of eco-sustainability. The hostel Giramondo where I stay is one of them as built completely in “barro” and focused on the reduction and reuse of wastes. A eco-sustainable tour brings me to visit three other realities in the green valley:
Mantra: a shop of organic food produced locally without the use of any chemical;
Espacio circular: a space to share with the community to give courses and meeting on top of offering hospitality in houses of barro in the middle of the nature;
Yacumama: gives course about natural construction and gives me a tour to all the natural constructions already completed and the new projects on-going.
The pollution on the environment by all these realities is almost zero and also the plastic is reused to fill PET bottles that will be then used as bricks or construction elements in the new houses.
The ideas and solutions identified till now are very encouraging, but their application are still limited to small realities.To be really effective and reduce human footprint a deep change is needed in the modern society and its economical system: a transition from the consumerist globalised economy to a more local production and consumption model.
While sharing these ideas and hoping they will spread and solutions improve even more, I remain doubtful that this transition process is really on-going except done for few realities and how such ideas can be adapted to the big cities!
This doesn’t mean at all that these models are not valid, but that to make a significant change the way is still very long and it’s in the hand of each and any of us!
I believe we should not entrust a solution by the governments that are in many ways linked to economical and employment logics.
The real change can be done only by the actions of each us! These are some action I try to apply as a personal start:
Select what we consume: try to go for local products (avoid the pollution to transport food and goods), see also this www.otromundoesposible.net/woody-harrelson-incendia-las-redes/
trying to reduce garbage and segregating the remaining waste, bringing it to recycling centre.
Talk and sensitise others (also the ones you see trowing garbage on the street or in the nature)
Bring a bag to collect plastic when on a hike. Plastic on the way is the only constant in all the places I’ve visited, no matter how remote they are.
a vegetarian meal is less polluting too: still a target for me 😉
ride a bike or walk in town instead of looking for a parking spot with the car… I love you Amsterdam 🙂
I admire these people who have the strength to try hard to change something that is not working and live in a more sustainable way. Not sure how I can apply this to my life, but even a small step or improvement is a step closer to the target!
Meanwhile I started experiencing a new great side of Argentina as soon as I try to hitchhike back to Cordoba to meet with Ema and Michi, a couple of Italian friends on a long travel asme. They have a target I discover to build an eco-sustainable hostel in Costa Rica starting from the end of the year.
All the best guys! (You can follow their adventure here: wearenotatree.wordpress.com )
But the “green” wave is not over yet as i will discover visiting Pato in Villas de las Rosas, a small village in the beautiful valley of Tras la Sierra in the South of Cordoba. She’s building an organic shop in the centre of Villa Dolores where to sell products of the valley grown in a natural way without the use of any chemical. I met Marco who is building a eco sustainable community with natural houses and cultivations. The whole valley appear to be on the move to make a change!
Back on the route and on board a new car to get a ride back to the terminal of Cordoba.. a bus is waiting to bring me to Colon, Entre Rios, my last town in Argentina!