Issues of Environmental Coexistence
Clean Air Home
Berkeley Resident Chooses Clean Air and Quiet Over Gas Heater and Refrigerator
I've turned off the heat in my apartment for the past 2.5 years and find that I'm slightly cooler but still quite healthy. I started using fresh ginger in my morning oatmeal and that seems to keep me stronger and healthier. I haven't gotten a significant cold, flu or any other sickness in over two years now, when in the past I used to get them at least a couple times a year. Since stopping the use of my gas heater, the air in my apartment is much cleaner and healthier. I wear more layers of clothes and get up and dance/move/clean house when I get too cool sitting in front of the computer. I don't watch TV so I avoid that particular passive non-moving mode of life. I also head out to the local cafes for a bit of warmth and social life and laptop computer work in the cold weather. The cell-like isolation and wasteful resource use of single bedroom apartments are highly profitable to the parasitic landlords, appliance manufacturers and energy merchants.
The San Francisco Bay Area is very livable without a heater or refrigerator. The Ohlone people, the native Americans from the Bay Area are known to have had one of the most bountiful ecosystems upon which they thrived, from the staple of acorn-based breads, stews, to waterfowl, shellfish, wild game, and seeds, roots and berries. It's sad to see this way of live buried under the endless asphalt and concrete of the auto/oil industry's societal enslavement. This is your brain on the gasoline drug.
I rearranged my room so that the South and West windows get the maximum solar energy coming in for warmth and my new indoor houseplants, which also help clean the air and provide oxygen. Oxygen, oxygen, where is the oxygen? It's certainly not generated by asphalt, concrete, redwood fences, brown shingles, walls, parking lots and tennis courts.
For about a year, I've also stopped using the refrigerator. It's much quieter without the refrigerator, and the electrical bill goes down. I happen to have an old-fashioned kitchen cabinet that has a screen to the outside to keep it cool and aerated, so I keep my Farmer's Market fresh vegetables and other perishables in there. With or without a refrigerator, I lose some vegetables to rot, but mainly because I had bought too much. I do composting in two large clay pots outside that are covered with leaves to keep the racoons away, and a healthy population of worms are having a feast on my vegetable scraps. I no longer have to hear the sound of a refrigerator turning on, interrupting my train of thought or my sleep or dreams.
These simple 'sacrafices' may sound unusual to most people, but I'm a relatively happy, intelligent, productive, creative person, and don't feel that these changes have effected my life in an adverse way at all. My health seems to have improved; I have more vitality with fresh live food and clean air, and I have a great time doing the things I like to do: playing music, painting, bicycling about town, working at home or away, visiting friends, reading and writing. Good luck in your ventures and I hope you don't spend too much of your life enslaved to the models of consumerism designed by the corporations and it's cohorts in government. Remember, paradise is still there, asleep under the asphalt.
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