As a gathering place of people and ideas focused around living life in balance, I’ve realized we’ve been missing a “green” element. This is such a huge topic, that it felt overwhelming as I pondered how best to include green living into WildesArt.
Many years ago, Dee Ann Bauer and I worked together at Aid to Artisans, a non-profit organization that worked worldwide helping artisans in underdeveloped regions to market their crafts, leading to sustainability of their craft groups/villages. Since then, I’ve been following Dee Ann on Facebook, and it hit me…she is working to promote green living and taking care of our environment. Sure, she is doing all of this at her home in Bali, Indonesia, but everything she is doing can be done right here in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. I’ve also been impressed by the work of her teenage daughter, Luba Bauer, and Luba’s BEEP (Bee Education and Environment Project).
So, I’ve invited Dee Ann to share with us all that she is learning and doing so that maybe we can all take small steps to live a more green lifestyle. I’ve asked her to start off with a bit of background about herself. And stay tuned for future posts so you may follow along with Dee Ann as she takes us to a better understanding of how taking care of our environment can help each of us to live a more balanced life.
Pelan pelan: Carry on… Just keep going, even in a slow way.
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I feel privileged to have your attention to share a bit about me. I have to be honest, being asked to write my bio was intimidating, and suddenly I found myself confronted with a fear of being evaluated. Reaching out to a friend for some advice and sharing my concern that the current “me” doesn’t have a lot of titles or job positions, he pointed out that in fact I’m not “claiming to be anything but proclaiming something I believe in, from the heart.” I love that perspective.
So the in-the-box bio includes: Undergraduate degree from University of Iowa in Finance; MBA from Thunderbird – American Graduate School of International Management in Arizona; previous co-founder/owner of a 20 year old furniture company, Bauer International; and mom of 3 children: Kai at NYU studying in Prague currently (I don’t want to label her but social activism and gender studies are some of her interests), Stiles, taking his gap year in Australia after graduating from Green School in Bali this past spring, and whose passion is all things surfing, and Luba, lover of bees and going to Green School now.
I do want to highlight one job position that still influences me today, which was marketing director for Aid to Artisans (ATA). Barbara summarized the mission of ATA so well above, and the incredibly forward thinking, long-time director and president, Clare Brett Smith, was the closest thing I could find to my original inspiration, Anita Roddick from the Body Shop, who seemed also to embody the idea that business can be a positive force for change.
The current “me” is a compilation of all of that of course, but currently woven together in Bali, Indonesia, where my family and I have lived for the past 2 years, in a unique environment of experiential learning at Green School . My daughter, Luba, is the official student, but Green School was founded on the principle that we are all a community of learners and so along with Bali’s unique energy (more on that in another post for sure) I am constantly stimulated to explore ideas, reexamine “truths” and generally be out of my comfort zone most of the time except when I’m indulging in a massage which Bali is famous for! So I’d like to take you along, blog style, into my greatest passion – sustainability.
We’re all a work in progress on that topic, but here are some of the avenues I’m exploring:
- Zero waste initiative – the process of making conscious decisions to support local, non-packaged, sustainable alternatives, building community through developing and sharing resources, simplifying our lives while enhancing the quality, recipes, how-to’s, maybe even spurring some entrepreneurial green products that could help us all in this effort
- Permaculture – I’m taking what I think is the first master’s level permaculture course from a university in Australia. Permaculture might best be described as a system design for how we live in harmony through the principles of “earth care, fair share and people care” (Bill Holmgren, Permaculture One). I’m involved in a project with Balinese farmers who are trying desperately to stave off the land grabbing effects of tourism through diversification of income streams, biodiversity, transitioning conventional rice and its pesticide depletion of the land and the challenge of moving Balinese agriculture so tightly intertwined in their spiritual life, into the modern generation.
- Insights into people I get to meet (Alexandra Cousteau recently visited Green School), initiatives I am involved with or know about first hand, conferences/events I attend, thought-provoking topics that I’m learning about, and corresponding reading/video links.
I’d love to hear from you, the beautiful followers of WildesArt, as to what you might find most interesting. From the point of view of always learning, I look forward to sharing my journey with you and also hearing about your explorations and insights! We are all strengthened through interaction and I thank WildesArt for this forum.
❤️ Dee Ann