THE MEANING OF HOME A
H A B I TAT
he homes we live in shape, enhance or restrict our personalities, our feelings about the world — and our lives. But despite the fact that most Canadians spend more than half of our lives inside our homes, we are often unaware of whether or not our homes reflect the truth of who we are and what we stand for. We just move in and let our habits, purchases and needs be dictated by the space surrounding us. But what if you could tap into the power to make more intentional choices — and create your home according to your own needs and values? Sometimes all it takes is a willingness to close your eyes to what the wider society tells you to do, and ask yourself: What really matters
YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2017
T H E
H I G H L A N D S
to my path in this life? And how can I reflect that in the place I spend most of my time? For Highlands councillors Ann and Gord Baird, the things that matter are time, energy, sustainability and community: more time to do the things they love; living in a way that doesn’t sap their energy or take up too much of the outside world’s; sustainability in that their home gives more back to the earth than it takes; and the community that has developed in response to their way of living. “The goal was to build a house with a lower ecological footprint, a lower carbon footprint, and to share energy, water and resources to create a more
abundant ecosystem,” says Ann. Eco-Sense, the Bairds’ low-carbon Highlands cob home, has been the subject of documentaries and articles the world over, including by the Knowledge Network and Canadian Geographic. As part of their passion for showing others how it can be done, Ann and Gord talk to schools and other interested groups about their eightacre property, explaining their extensive permaculture gardens, their earthen buildings and their philosophy of living lightly on the earth.