Moving to Boston four years ago, in 2007, was a big transition for me: starting graduate school, adjusting to life in the city, beginning a relationship, thinking in more structured and practical ways about the sort of life I wanted to construct for myself — and eventually what sort of life Hanna and I might want to construct together. I’m sure many of you Harpies have been in a similar situation. And there are lots of ways in which we’ve figured out the basics of our lives, at least for the next few years: the sort of work we’ll be doing, the friendships we’re forming, the long-distance family relationships we maintain, etc.
But one thing we’re still chewing over is apartment life, and its limitations (at least, in our current situation) to be the sort of sustainable, eco-friendly home we’d like it to be. We’ve lived in the same one-bedroom apartment since moving in together, and while there’s much to recommend it as a student flat we’re starting to outgrow it as two graduate students evolve into a couple with a cat and friends — adult friends! — whom we want to have over for a meal. And Hanna misses having a garden, and chickens, and compost. We hate throwing food scraps in the trash, but there’s nowhere to compost them in our neighborhood. We can do things like put energy saver bulbs in our lamps, and pay for wind energy as a certain proportion of our electric bill, but we can’t make any of the basic decisions about heating and cooling our home since we’re one unit in a building of 20+ apartments.