Footprint and Resilience

A friend and her husband are leaving the home they’ve owned for decades, and moving out to a rural area in a different part of the state.

I asked if she wasn’t worried about being totally dependent on automotive transportation. At first she assumed I meant the footprint of said transportation. But actually, I was more concerned that a person in her late 50s (my same age group) was moving to an isolated place where she would not be able to walk or cycle anywhere, and would be utterly dependent on the good graces of a gasoline-powered personal conveyance (always a risky proposition if you ask me; give me a bicycle or my own feet any day).

Fortunately, it turns out her future home is very near a bike trail that leads into town. Although town is a few miles away, it’s do-able at least for people who are somewhat in shape, as she is.

Also, she and her husband have met and like their future neighbors. And, they have longtime friends not too many miles away who host musical gatherings on a regular basis.

Important point: She and her husband know how to grow their own food. They also plan to make income from their land by hosting HipCampers.

All of this put my mind at ease somewhat. You’d be amazed at how many people “move out to the country” with all sorts of dreamy bucolic visions, and not a plan in sight. Don’t do that!

Footprint is pretty easy to balance out. (For example, my friend and her husband know enough about regenerative land management that their forest and pasture stewardship will probably more than offset their increased automobile-dependence. Anyway, she is caring and savvy enough to consolidate car trips.) Resilience requires a bit more thought.