Friday, March 18, 2011

CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITIES FOR A DOWN-HOME ECO-VACATION

Now, the idea of eco-vacationing may sound like something that only young people or the fanciful do, but I'm talking about something quite different. And, of course, I'm not envisioning  the eco-vacations that the super-rich and famous take to exclusive and exotic places. What I'm thinking about is the possibility that “everyday” people offer their homes in the backwoods or working farms as eco-vacation spots this spring or summer to others who want to try out a few weeks of simple living and physical work. I see these eco-vacations as a means to create links between similarly concerned families who wish to build kindred spirit and explore ways to build better communities for the future. (Beyond that, there may be possibilities for eco-rentals of currently unused cabins or farmhouses for people who want a few weeks or months to explore a simpler lifestyle on their own terms.)

So, who’s the potential eco-guest?
I think a lot of us could be eco-guests. Many people are dead-tired of their 9-to-5 jobs and look for a break from those surroundings. Also, you know, there are a lot of unemployed people out there, and many of them aren't, by any means, inactive by choice. A lot of retired people as well, I include myself in this group, are still healthy enough and willing to explore a different lifestyle. And, these likely eco-guests probably don’t have the money right now for a "traditional" holiday trip.  Beyond that, they and their family members may really want some other kind of vacation - one that would give them the opportunity to get clean air and sunshine and learn some down-to-earth living skills and ways to reduce their carbon-footprints. They could do all this and, at the same time, participate in real, physical work in homesteading, sustainable farming, and other kinds of green-living experiments.

What would the eco-hosts offer?
An eco-host wouldn't need to provide "eco-luxe" accommodations but rather have some feature, or features, of a simpler, down-home lifestyle that would be of interest to eco-guests.  Basically, it would be something like a simple "bed and breakfast" place to stay. That would entail a private bedroom to sleep in and a bathroom that wouldn't be shared (at least not by a lot of other folks), and a special work project or two that other people could participate in for a few weeks or a couple of months.  The hosts would offer family-style lodging and companionship and teach the skills for the work or project to be carried out, as required. The guests would pay (or not) a low-cost board and do some work, the general kind and quantity to be determined by all parties beforehand. All the details could be discussed by email, phone, or face-to-face, according to the requirements of hosts and guests.

You can design your own kind of eco-vacation.
Now, this eco-vacation wouldn't have to be - probably shouldn't be - some wilderness or extreme survival experiment. Obviously, those projects exist but what I’m talking about here is quite a bit different than that. There are many areas of the country that offer clean air and real outdoors beauty, and this can be restorative for city folk. The fact is that, on average, Americans spend more than 95 percent of our time indoors, separated from nature. On the other hand, not so many of us want to live in tents and make campfires (for more than a few days at a time), and are poorly prepared, or hardly in the frame of mind, for some kind of survival school. In my opinion, what most eco-guests are wanting is the opportunity to learn more about the practical arts of simple, self-sufficient living, including gardening and building eco-sustainable homes and communities.

So, the eco-vacation that I urge you to consider here - to offer or to join-up – isn’t some kind of predetermined scheme, but rather the opportunity that you can dream up that would help you, your family, and other people explore a more satisfying and environmentally-friendly way of life.

Related posts
REDEFINE YOUR PRIORITIES, REMAKE YOUR LIFE
TRY SWAPPING TO SHRINK YOUR WASTEFUL HABITS (WITH OTHER BENEFITS, TOO.)
GET OFF-GRID OR REDUCE YOUR DEPENDENCE ON IT
REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
GET GREENER: using less energy in the home.
EMBRACE A SIMPLE HOME


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