Day 24 | What Now?

 

“It is a happiness to wonder; it is a happiness to dream.”

-Edgar Allen Poe

“People will continue to do what is comfortable to them, but I think reaching out and trying to provide education can help. I am hoping that is what I can offer leaving this experiment, along with more understanding for the millions that live like this every day, and a greater sense of agency to do something about it.”

Question Set 2, Interview 7: Saf

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

“I think it has, because I wasn’t aware of how attentive I am of group dynamics. And I wasn’t aware of how much group dynamics affected my mental security and that has a lot to do with whether or not I am happy. I found specifics that make me happy. I didn’t realize how much I liked wind. Before I didn’t like wind, but when I don’t have anything to do, I like that feeling. I feel the same way about water against my skin.”

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

“Probably a 6 or 7, while I am happy and content. I also want to go home and I have some impatience for that.”

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

“Learning to find happiness in being sustainable, to find pleasure in that. Which I realize is hard and work has to be done to increase the social value of being sustainable. When social value increase, the pleasure individuals find increases.”

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

“I think I’ll be much more aware of myself and much more aware of earth related issues and how that affects me. Before, I was aware of stuff relating to clean air and water, but not so much the worth of those things.”

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

“I suppose because I have the awareness of the value of being sustainable, its worth more to be, so participating in that increases the feel of pleasure I get from doing that which increases happiness.”

 

Question Set 2, Interview 8: Me

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

“Yes and no. Being here and going through this experience has allowed me to better understand how to make myself happy, but it has also strengthened the fact that family and friends are truly at the root of my happiness. I’ve missed my boyfriend, my family, and my friends. I missed 3 birthdays and events with people I love. While it’s been for a good reason and I wouldn’t trade this experience, I know that being with them makes me happy.”

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 6.5/7. I think again, it’s always hard for me to be completely happy when I miss the people I care about. However, I’m happy because I am grateful for this experience. It hasn’t been easy the whole time, but the beautiful moments have really outshined any negatives and I don’t know if I’ve ever gone through so much personal and mental growth is such a short amount of time as I have done here. Learning how to cook with healthier ingredients and feeling better because of it has also helped my happiness.”

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

“I believe learning to live humbly, with a grateful heart and without comparison is what will help this balance. Material goods and money make people happy because they are striving for this higher standard of living or an idea of what is trendy or cool. We have a consumer society and things aren’t always built to last. When someone sees what someone else has, they want it. The idea that bigger is better. Instead of living humbly, many people upsize. No one is perfect, I am certainly not by far when it comes to sustainable behavior. But I think if we can collectively try to be conscious about consumption, where things come from, at what price, and the resources that must be consumed to create it, we can find a healthier balance. It’s all education and people practicing thoughtfulness and empathy.”

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

“I definitely think so. I know that I will be eating better, being more conscious of my meat, dairy, gluten, and sugar intake as whole. I am going to be much more aware of how long my showers are and try to cut down on things that take a long time, like shaving, and do that separately from the shower so I don’t keep the water running. I will have to see what I can do with my new living conditions when I get home, but I am hoping to be able to creatively use graywater as well.”

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

“This project has shown me that yes, sustainable behavior and happiness is possible. I do believe your values have to be engaged though. It’s easy to turn a blind eye, not think about it when you use water, or hear about water scarcity problems and think “that doesn’t affect me”. Especially in the Southwest, US, I think more people are finding that water scarcity does actually affect them in huge ways. As some of the other women have mentioned, this project is a very extreme side of sustainability. There are ways to be conscious and sustainable without these restrictions. I do think it took removing myself from society and the mainstream way of living in order to really make these conclusions. People will continue to do what is comfortable to them, but I think reaching out and trying to provide education can help. I am hoping that is what I can offer leaving this experiment, along with more understanding for the millions that live like this every day, and a greater sense of agency to do something about it.”

2017-06-09T20:07:18+00:00