With the privileges of using natural resources come the duties to prevent harm to the earth’s ecosystems, and to maintain a healthy environment for future generations. This is Slí na Bandé’s commitment.
Living sustainably means living in ways that contribute to the health of the environment in order to maintain a balance between human activity and the planet.
Slí na Bandé originated in the minds of Marlene and Douglas in the 1970′s, when Marlene wrote her thesis on the ‘Report of the Club of Rome’ which was one of the first computer aided reports which highlighted the potential destruction of the planet and the depletion of our natural resources. Marlene had been deeply influenced by the way of life of her great grandmother and grandmother. Their husbandry practices and local resilience sustained them through the horrors of both the first and second world wars. Resilience refers to the ability of a system, from individual people to whole economies, to hold together and maintain their ability to sustain a community in the face of change and shocks from the outside. Marlene also observed the vast and immediate deterioration of the local rivers in her home town of Dendermonde from the age of 7 as a direct result of the increased affluence and consumer spending of the wider local community without any thought for the environmental impact. Marlene and Douglas decided to find out for themselves whether it was possible to build an environmentally friendly home and live in a sustainable, locally resilient manner in the face of the present environmental challenges.
Marlene and Douglas built their house with sustainable materials and planted 3500 deciduous trees on their 5 acres. They clean their water successfully with a natural reedbed system and supplement their energy requirements with wind and solar energy. Energy is provided by a 6.5 kilowatt CHP system run on pure plant oil. This generator not only provides electricity but also heats water for the central heating. Their cars also run on vegetable oil
“Two roads diverged in the wood, and I…I took the one less
travelled by, And that has made all the difference.”