Dear reader, how do you destinguish? I try my best to use the precautionary principle:
[…] if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an act.
It does not go as far as forbidding any new action or policy just because all consequences cannot be known in advance-to do so would be so reductionist as to render it irrelevant.
I agree on the last phrase stating that FORBIDDING new chemicals and products is not a good idea (on a policy level). That said I strongly advice you to be very careful when you buy things and the best thing to do in most cases is to go for raw materials that you can trust (locally (go ahead and verify for yourself!) ecologically produced materials). This way you can then learn to craft what you need and then you know exactly what has been applied. I have done this myself to create a duvet to my child and it was marvellous as a fed-up-super-consumer to create something from scratch.
The links below could maybee help you reduce the number of toxins in your surrounding:
Sewing is a creative activity for all ages, boys as well as girls.
Sewing together has a lot of benefits: you learn directly from others, you get the ability to organize into activist movements, a lot of (hand) sewing can be done on the side while talking with others, you get to create what YOU want and not what somebody else want you to buy, you get the ability to STOP SHOPPING as you learn more and more without running around naked.
Recently I visited Denmark where I grew up and I remember my father telling me: “[…] du bliver nød til at skabe dig et ordentligt hjem” (you have to make yourself a decent livingspace) He probably meant something like “get furnitures and modern equipment that constitutes what I call a real home”. As I have departed a bit from the way of life of my parents and the rest of the family, not only by moving to a different country, I did not quite know what to respond. Now the thoughts have settled and I realise I agree. The apartment I now live in is not a decent home. It will probably newer be, but to me this has nothing to do with furnitures. Recently I discovered that this 45m2 expensive concrete apartment is toxic and to dry (too low air humidity is not good). My feet sore after some minutes of walking barefoot on the plastic covered concrete floor. When I carry my child (11 kg) I immediately becomes a problem.
Simple vs complex
I have grown up in a really complex western society (some think we are now having an explosion of complexity similar to other societies just before they collapsed). Actually I still do not yet understand all the mechanisms of the modern capitalist state despite really trying! Right now sitting here I feel that I have had enough of complexity in my life this far. Now I long for something else. It is TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE.
TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE
I have decided to embark on a new project that will probably impact a hole lot on my life: create a shelter with the capacity to be warm when I like it to and cool in the summer. It should shield from winds and frost (here it gets about -20 to -30 degrees Celsius for a short period during the winter).
It should have a possibility to store water for washing of hands and simple cooking (we have nice restaurants and all my close friends have nice kitchens so why would I need one?). I have a friend in Bellvik, Sweden who inspired me a lot about water handling.
My home does not need:
- tap water
- toilet (traditionally outside swedish homes is a little simple built shed with a hole in the floor under witch the excrements piled)
A friend of mine told me that actually it is only during a very short period of mankind (~7 000 000 years) that we have been living in the same location all-year. Of this short period (about 10 000 years) we have only had running water within the last 100 years. To this day most of mankind probably do not live with tap water installed in-house. Why do we you may ask? I do not know. Perhaps because tap water and sewer enormously increases the complexity of building a house making it expensive and attractive.
A felty home (gher a.k.a. yurt)
For thousands of years the nomads of Central Asia have lived in simple comfortable dwellings made to last and from natural non-toxic materials.
[A gher is a] portable, bent dwelling structure traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. The structure comprises a crown or compression wheel usually steam bent, supported by roof ribs which are bent down at the end where they meet the lattice wall (again steam bent). The top of the wall is prevented from spreading by means of a tension band which opposes the force of the roof ribs. The structure is usually covered by layers of fabric and sheep’s wool felt for insulation and weatherproofing. WP source
This kind of dwelling is most likely going to work in this climate (the middle of Sweden) too, but as other dwellings has to be shielded from ground moisture (=raised on a simple stone/wooden structure). During the winter the gher is covered with more layers of felt than in the summer for added insulation.
To be continued…