Best Popcorn in the World and Other Benefits of Living in a Sustainable Neighborhood!

Imagine a room full of people, all gathered in a circle and sharing  their ideas on what makes a sustainable neighborhood. “I would like a swimming hole, like at my grandpa’s farm”, a 12 year boy shares. “It has a rope swing and turtles and the fishing is pretty good”. swimming hole

“I love prisoner of war escape movies and sci-fi movies. I’d like to curate a series of Saturday afternoon showings.  I just got a huge big screen TV, and my living room holds about 30 people!” Herb, a retiree, offers.

A young mother speaks next, “I’d like to contribute part of our front yard to community gardening. With the new baby, I would like to be growing more food, but we need help getting the soil ready. My husband agrees; he’d rather pull weeds. He’s tired of mowing the lawn.”

Around the circle the sharing continues.  ”Well”, Jack, a waste water engineer offers, ” I’d like to set up a water recycling facility… my idea is to go to the low point of the sewer system, and set up a series of living machines. Living Machines are greenhouses filled with translucent tanks full of water plants. The biologies on the roots of the water plants will purify the water, and we can then do a final UV treatment so the water is better than drinking quality. And that will fit into your ideas: One, the water would fill up the swimming hole and be a place of beauty and fun, and two,  the water from the pond could be fed to orchards and community gardens. Another benefit would be in case of a fire, the fire department could use the stored water for fighting the fire.”

My hand goes up.”Hey, I make the best popcorn in the world.  No brag, just fact! I’ll give lessons and man the popcorn machine on one Saturday matinee out of the month!” (See recipe below!)…

As the sharing goes around the circle, it’s as if a 3 dimensional image begins to appear in the center of the room. Each person’s contribution brings the neighborhood to life. The compelling image of an abundant future, drives innovation. Policy issues need  to be addressed, with new supportive rules created. New ownership models need to be set up.

My Grandma loved to clean house, and bake pies.  My grandfather loved to garden and be around babies. I could be having fresh pie, fresh vegetables and my infant children watched while I take a break or run errands.  With all the complexity of our lives, it takes a village to go sustainable and have a quality filled life.

World”s Best Popcorn. 1) airpop corn, 2) drizzle olive oil and then Bragg’s Aminos over the popcorn, and then sprinkle mild red chile over the top. 3) gingerly stir to mix from the bottom  and 4) pour onto a cookie sheet, 5) dry out popcorn in a warm oven, say 250 F degrees until the kernels of popcorn become crunchy (takes 15-20 minutes) again.  Enjoy with a neighborhood Saturday matinee or the Super Bowl!

Our priorities change when each person brings their unique contribution that adds to the quality of life in the neighborhood. We can negotiate about barking dogs and other irritations. Yeah, it’s going to take learning new relationship skills.  It’ll be worth it!

What are your unique contributions? What would you include in your neighborhood that would make it a great place to live?

Together, we can make sustainable real!

Image courtesy of New Zealand


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