By Tamara Baker-Inwood
I find sustainability to be engrained in my lineage. Respect for our world is the cornerstone of my family’s beliefs. Deeply rooted in nature, I was raised to believe that the earth and all that it gives should be protected and its natural resources used respectfully. I choose to live simplistically and to practice many of the old world methods to be frugal and sustainable. For generations, my family has passed on the tradition of gardening, canning and food dehydration. This allows us to be self-sustaining, as well as, eat purely without the addition of chemicals and harmful additives.
My journey does not stop here. Water caches such as rain barrels, allows me to harvest rain water for garden watering and other uses. I am very aware of the ever increasing need for clean water. After my well failed, I was faced with the laborious task of obtaining, storing and processing my household water for an extended period of time. I will never take water for granted again.
Additionally, I find that it is not just what I can do at home but what I can provide to my community to be a vital part of my living sustainably. I realize that being a part of a community means that I should be a productive and active member. Volunteerism is an unspoken truth in my family. I have found that there are many interesting ways to give back. I was very happy to have had the opportunity to teach food preservation for Unity Gardens and found that there is an increasing demand for such a resource. Furthermore, each year my mother and I assist with the maple tree tapping at Bendix Woods County Park where we pass on our knowledge to others. I am always finding new volunteer opportunities to become involved in throughout the community.