Day 19 | Living With the Heat

 

We have finally hit the time of year where the days are hot and they show no signs of cooling back down. Out here, our days hover around 110 degrees and there is little relief. Most of us have started sleeping outdoors since it is cooler at night outside than in our rooms. We are more aware now of the dangers of the heat and the importance of finding cooled spaces and staying hydrated. During the highest heat of the day, we are all very relaxed and almost immobile. We read, sleep, or work, but we stay away from the sun and are mostly indoors. I would predict that our water usage will continue to increase as we drink more and rinse ourselves to cool down. I will be looking after everyone here more closely now with the increased dangers of the heat. It will be interesting to see how the heat affects the happiness and overall comfort of the women here this next week. I hope we are able to find refuge and the heat does not affect our community dynamic.

Question Set 2, Interview 3: Moso

Has this experience changed or affected your definition of happiness? If so, how?

“No. I’m pretty confident on my views of happiness.”

Can you rate your current happiness level 1-10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest, and explain why you feel this way?

“I would say a 7. It’s hard to feel happy when I’m so miserably hot, but my general outlook on life is still a happyish one.”

How do you think we, as in society, can find a balance between sustainable behavior/ development and happiness?

“I think we really have to shift our priorities from ourselves to also include others, to be more community minded. Like speaking of the US specifically, we just care about ourselves, not everyone is this way, but our culture in general, wants a lot of stuff and money. And that’s what makes them happy, but that’s not the only way to find happiness. People are just so caught up in this self-centered focus, to make any advancements we really need to look outside of ourselves and be aware.”

Do you think your life and behavior will change after returning from this experiment? Why or why not?

“Yeah. I think that it’s taught me to slow down, which I’ve really enjoyed. It’s also shown me that I can live on minimal amounts of water. There are certain things that I probably won’t keep doing like using graywater to flush the toilet, but I’ll probably still collect gray water and water things outside with it. I actually kind of like how we have this water method where it is easy to control the flow of water. Like, when I turned on a faucet at the store, there was just so much water, coming out so fast! Also, I will continue this diet, but modified. I will probably keep eating meat, but not as often as I was eating meat.”

Can you tell me anything else about this experience and how this experiment has affected your outlook on sustainable behavior and happiness?

“I think it’s shown me it’s simultaneously hard and easy to live this way. There are aspects that come naturally to me, like conserving the water, using less, reusing things, and being resourceful. But then this sort of other aspect of this experience like community living has really been a challenge for me. You know you don’t have to live in a trailer with 7 other people in order to be sustainable, but it’s an interesting discovery, especially now that I’m older to really recognize where I function the best and what kind of space I need and what space I need to give other people. How involved you are, how involved you aren’t. Like we talked about, there is definitely a balance of stepping up and stepping back.”

Question Set 2, Interview 4: Skip

Has this experience changed or affected your definition of happiness? If so, how?

“I don’t really know. I think what it has done is show me to slow down and find the simpler things. I feel like it’s always been the simpler things, but what’s smaller than that. Stepping away from communicating with people every day, wanting to go to events and wanting to be on social media.”

Can you rate your current happiness level 1-10, 1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest, and explain why you feel this way?

“I would stay I’m at a 6.5. A little higher than content, but the heat has taken a big toll on me and adjusting to it. And not feeling productive or as clear minded.”

How do you think we, as in society, can find a balance between sustainable behavior/ development and happiness?

“Want less. I think as society and even corporations, the demand for new products is huge. And it goes with how things are made. They are made to be broken and only last a few months. Slowing down demand and production. Also coming together with your community and neighborhood. Finding that community that is yours and sharing. That’s one thing we did here. It took us a while to find our flow and get comfortable in it, but I think that really helped here.”

Do you think your life and behavior will change after returning from this experiment? Why or why not?

“Yeah, definitely. Looking at just the water usage. Being able to live off under 4 gallons of water a day is insane and awesome. I know I have a super busy schedule, so that’s going to change. I’m more conscious about my water and collecting gray water to reuse it. Also thinking about the diet. I feel really good, the food is really good. Learning how to cook such large meals will help with not eating fast and processed food. Also making meals that I can freeze will cut down on waste. Also just being more conscious about what on labels. Not just on food and drinks but also clothing.”

Can you tell me anything else about this experience and how this experiment has affected your outlook on sustainable behavior and happiness?

“I don’t think my outlook has changed, but I think it has strengthened that sustainability and happiness can coexist. This is an extreme case and by no means do I think society should live this way and I question how sustainable this experiment is in the long run. The food and water part is, but more or less thinking about the shelter. I think it taught me how to be sustainable with a collective.”

2017-06-05T07:02:00+00:00

One Comment

  1. Luana lynch June 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    You are all gaining wisdom. Fast

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