Sustainable living, the first steps

Sustainable living is more urgent than ever. This summer in Europe heat records are tumbling over each other. In the north it is sometimes warmer than in Andalusia. I live happy enough at an altitude of 1200 meters in Alpujarras at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain. That’s where I am starting a lavender farm. I will tell you all about it in this blog, as well as about my steps to sustainable living.

Sustainable living in het Alpujarras

Climate change is not for away if you live in nature

If you live in a city, apart from a heat wave or cloudburst, you will maybe hardly notice climate change or let alone the loss of biodiversity. But if you live in nature, both are clearly visible. And if not, it’s in the news. One disaster message follows the other and we still do just about nothing.

Sustainable living: it’s simply not easy

Even in Spain where the sun is an inexhaustible source of energy , so far it has not been enough.

In the Netherlands our electricity was sustainable, but in our beautiful white mountain village, we are not allowed to place solar panels.

But enough is enough. I will no longer wait for politics and certainly not for businesses. My conviction so far, that you had to do it realy good, otherwise it would not help. That of course makes no sense.

A long time ago, as a vegetarian, I could not imagine that I would ever drink vegan coffee in a trendy place. Let alone that the supermarket had something vegetarian and now look.

I thought it would be difficult not to fly. But the opposite is true.

So in January I decided not fly this year. That’s going well for 7 months now. I have no illusions that I will never fly again. That’s why I start with 1 year.

Small sustainable steps

A lot of creativity comes loose when you decide not to accept the first flight offer. I will take the high speed train to Barcelona in September. And I can do Morocco by boat. Mheanwile I am dreaming about an electric car, running on my own solar panels.

I cook with a solar cooker and make my own soap and essential oil. Very small steps, which are especially great fun and motivating to do more.

Why a lavender farm?

I see nature becoming more and more vulnerable, where I live and beyond. The land in the mountains is hardly maintained anymore because it does not pay financially. Or there will be water-guzzling and poison-spraying tomato farms. Climate change comes on top of that. Heavy rain showers after long periods of drought cause erosion.

Landscape restoration

Inspired by the organization Commonland I followed the free online course A Business Approach to Sustainable Landscape Restoration. There I saw how residents in South Africa were able to turn their degraded land into nature and earn money from it. With lavender.

I’ll write about starting the lavender farm and other small sustainable steps

An even more beautiful landscape, good for bees and nature and for me.

I will write on this blog about starting up the lavender farm. And about other small sustainable steps. Making soap, lavender oil, solar cooking, traveling more sustainable etc.

Not only because I like to write, but who knows it might give you an idea. And especially because I no longer want to wait until sustainable living becomes the normal. Because sadly enough that will take a while.

Mariette, August, 2019


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