Arthacarya is ordained in the Triratna Buddhist Order. He is passionate about climate action at every level, personal, community and societal. He lives with his young family in a community north of metropolitan Sydney where everyone strives for a more sustainable lifestyle.
1. What does your faith tradition teach about simplicity? What are the attitudes to material consumption in your faith?
The Buddhas teaching is leading a simple and uncluttered life is supportive of spiritual endevours. The material accumulation of goods, money, land and other possessions to likely to be counter-productive and can lead to neurotic dependency to things that don’t last, including clinging to views of ideas of self as fixed or permanent. Whereas I live a family life, I wish to adhere to this principle as far as possible.
2. Can you share a story of a change you have tried to make in your own life when it comes to diet (moving towards a plant-based diet and reducing food waste), mobility (decreasing use of car and plane) or renewable energy use?
My wife (Rachel) and I tried living a typical suburban life in Newcastle and we both became isolated and depressed. We became members of an ecovillage 4 years ago will be moving into the village in 3 months. We will ‘off grid’ with solar power, use water from our dam for washing and be partially self-sufficient in food.
3. What was it like to work to make these changes? What was difficult? What was rewarding? How have you persevered?
We are downsizing our spacious 3-bedroom home to a 2-bedroom townhouse with a small yard. We are really having to consider what we really need as a family and what we desire to have. At times there has been resistance to this transition as it means giving up a certain amount of personal and family space. However, we believe we gain something very precious in community and it’s well worth it.
4. Are there further changes you would like to work towards?
We want to enter into either a formal or informal car-share electric vehicle scheme with other members. We are also interested in home-schooling, cooking share options at the eco-village. I would like to become proficient in growing food.