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A Comfortable Truth

I’m glad that circumstances led us to this life, and over time, I’ve become grateful to have learned to live comfortably on 15 percent as much electricity as my average countryman. That doesn’t make me better than they; it doesn’t mean I care more, or more deeply. Because, let’s face it, to be alive in 2011 is to be unsustainable. That’s the comfortable truth we all live with, and I say “comfortable” because it’s the ease and convenience of modern life that make it unsustainable. Whether or not that’s a good deal depends on the scope of your view; in the short term, it’s a pretty sweet ride.

But there are times–and they seem to occur at the most unlikely moments, like when I’m scraping ice from the solar panels in zero-degree wind chill–when it occurs to me that ease and convenience are highly overrated. The environmentally conscious life–like New England’s craggy, unapologetic hills and capricious weather–demands something of a person. And I like it that way.

Read a profile of another energy-efficient Vermont home.

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Ben Hewitt


Ben Hewitt


The Hewitt family runs Lazy Mill Living Arts, a school for practical skills of land and hand. Ben's most recent book is The Nourishing Homestead, published by Chelsea Green.

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One Response to A Comfortable Truth

  1. John March 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Great story, thanks for sharing.

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