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  • Marie

Vincent, Fabrègues, France

Le témoignage de Vincent est disponible en français ici.

My name is Vincent, I am 34 and I live in Fabrègues in the region of Montpellier (34) in Southern France. I currently work as a freelancer to assist, manage and create companies, and I am a partner in a newly-created company that provides accounting and other services.

How would I define « sustainability”? This is a very broad question… and my answer has been continuously evolving with time. At first, I considered it more like a “way to go”, some rules to follow…. but now I would rather define it as a philosophy of life, a way for everyone to do their share for the planet.

I started thinking about sustainable development when I attended a training to become a sport teacher; one of the optional courses was focusing on “outdoor physical activity and the relationship with eco-citizenship” (this is the way the course was called).

Sustainability as a concept was described at the beginning of the course; then came the part that addressed best eco-practices to be included in sports, for example waste sorting, zero-waste…This course started to make me think of my own habits. Another professional training, this one in the field of children activities and management, allowed me to explore the ways to raise awareness about this topic.

Over a long period of time I started thinking about myself and how to implement these principles on my everyday life.

I asked myself a lot of questions, and reached a simple but tricky one:

“what is our place within nature?”

I went through a phase of depression, but thanks also to books, movies, people I met…I managed to progress in my personal development, and simultaneously to get closer to a proper answer.

When I look at myself right now, I think I got closer to nature, especially after I moved to Southern France (I used to live next to Paris); to me it was a critical part of my individual development, I needed to move.

Lately I have also been following a training in permaculture, which I think (based on things I have read about it) will give me a final idea - or at least a better constructed one - on how to implement principles of sustainable development on my daily life.

To reach the next level I would need to see examples and receive a practical support to design and manage the renovation of our family house. So right now, I am mainly looking at and collecting a lot of information which guide me towards the implementation of permaculture principles.

Getting the support of loved ones was difficult at first; but when you understand that you do not have to deal with them, and that you are doing things for your own sake, then things get a lot less constraining.

The hardest part I think has been to find a balance between principles and their practical implementation everyday: you should not dictate solutions but instead share them with others. One needs to accept that the solution to a problem is never irrevocable, and that all things evolve, the same way as it does in nature.

I have two young daughters.

I would like to share with them a healthy place to live in, as well as ideas and ways for them to best understand the environment around them.

I would like also to help them find parts of answers to the same question as mine, about our place within nature. At the moment, I feel like my ideas focus more on the role of mankind rather than on the relationship we have with nature, or on the way nature impacts us.

I would like to change this and possibly find a better balance to discuss and exchange about these topics. The ongoing training I am attending about permaculture should allow me not only to renovate our current inhabitation, but also, I hope, to get closer to this balance.

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