Thursday, March 12, 2009

Visionary Dinner

Last night, Nicolas and I were guests at the annual visionary dinner. It is put on by Southface, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable living, particularly sustainable housing. I learned from the keynote speaker, Bracken Hendricks, that housing accounts for almost half of our total energy needs. Wow. That is a lot. Imagine if we just changed all future housing (and renovated current housing) to safe, carbon efficient or carbon-neutral what an impact that would have on our future? Imagine the jobs entailed in doing this? Hendricks' emphasis was upon confronting the economic crisis and global warming with hope and vision, seeing crisis as an opportunity for change. He quoted Martin Luther King - "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Nicolas and I have been working towards reducing our carbon footprint, but could do so much more. Our dryer (yes, all winter I used the dryer) is starting to die so there is my crisis that will create positive change. I just need a better clothes drying rack situation, in the light and out from under our bug filled trees.

We have been to these dinners before but this was the first time that we were seated at a front table. Nicolas' arugula and green garlic were used by the brilliant Iron Chef winner Kevin Rathbun in his short ribs main course and Nicolas and I(!) were asked to stand. They even showed the audience the video that Whole Foods had produced about Nicolas, as well as a few about other local sustainable meat farmers whose food we were eating. It was exciting to see emphasis placed upon the whole, big sustainable picture - from the food we eat to the houses we choose to build, to the policy we choose to support. We were seated at the Whole Foods table and I was impressed by how much they are doing to promote more sustainable practices, particularly more humane animal farming policies. The event took place at a ballroom in the Georgia Aquarium. We ate next to the Beluga whales on one side and the whale sharks on another. They are magnificent. I admit to feeling a little bit conflicted about these big guys' indoor housing as well as about the fact that Coca Cola won an award for promoting sustainability. But just a very little bit. It was a delicious, hopeful night.


Tamar Orvell said...

Oh, I am so with you on the irony of the Visionary Dinner plunked next to the watery cages and sugar water empire central. An Israeli blog (in English), Green Prophet, often reminds me of your family's wonderful intentional living. It, like Barn-Raising, is filled with surprises and good news. Thanks for being visionaries in action! xoxo from Tel Aviv

Madeline said...

Thanks for the link Tamar. They are way ahead of us! Soar powered farming! Very exciting, if expensive. : )

Hope you're doing well over there.