BLOG ACTION DAY
OK today is THE day to talk about the environment. I have only just decided to do this and I only have time to post NOW. So these are some very impromptu thoughts on the matter although it is a subject very dear to my heart so I hope they are well-informed impromptu thoughts .
It seems to me that most people in today's modern age have excluded from their lives any thought about how their behaviour should be decided . What constitutes good and bad behaviour? What is the most ethical way to behave at any given point? The questions seem obsolete and old-fashioned. The answer seems to be "I will behave in the way that most benefits me at the time".
This attitude is reinforced by today's media and politicians. The message the public receive from TV, billboards, magazines and most mainstream public forums is that the consumer is king and that the consumer should only be guided by desire, by "I want".
This behaviour has resulted in the problems we are now facing as a species with regard to the sustainability of our home planet. (For the simple reason that human beings will always want more).
I start here because I believe it is important (and possible) to have a bottom-line, this-is-how-I-decide-my-actions, rule of conduct. One that requires thought and sometimes investigation but ultimately one that very quickly provides an indication of whether our actions (every, single, tiny, little action - just like votes and pennies/dollars, every action counts) are moving us as a species in the right direction. Humanely and environmentally.
For me, that bottom-line rule of conduct is a question: If everyone on the planet behaved this way, would the world be a better place or not? (I was actually greatly inspired by a friend of mine who showed me the relevance of using this question as a practical tool in everyday life rather than just keeping it in the realm of theory).
If everyone dropped litter would that be OK?
If everyone took a plane ride four times a year...?
If everyone switched off their electrics at the plug...?
If everyone dodged the ticket barriers in the metro...?
This is simplistic of course. But the question invites reflection and reasoning and I believe that reason is not only what distinguishes us from our animally neighbours but it is also what will, ahem, save us. When we begin to see the reason behind things for ourselves we can start to take responsability for ourselves and if we reason on a global basis (as I believe we should) then taking responsability for ourselves results in taking responsability for the planet. If every individual reasoned as such then change would automatically happen on an institutional level.
I think bringing what we know about the things we need to do into our world and not just leaving them there on the telly is rewarding, fulfilling experience that promotes growth and change on an individual level and consequently on a societal level.
This thinking has led me to change:
the way I travel and the way I plan future travel projects (the old plane thing - I am now happy exploring Europe by train and planning other little corners of Europe to explore rather than you know dreaming of Patagonia.),
the way I shop for food (organic, local where possible) but also
the way I eat (I am now vegan and will not eat animal products unless I have to because of the negative impact of the animal rearing industry on the environment and because if everybody avoided animal products, I believe that deforestation would cease to be a problem, more land would be available for producing essential cereal products, heart disease would be a thing of the past, to be brief about it..)
the way I buy clothes (actually I try not to)
the way I bring up my kids (talking about all these things all the time).
I believe it is not enough to recycle and turn off the taps while brushing one's teeth. I believe we all need to do more. We all need to change. We all need to reprogram our "want" feeling so that it lights up for the greater good and not the immediate material satisfaction.
There we go. I feel very dumb sometimes. I wish I had a more incisive and intelligent grasp of all of this. The ability to retain figures and spout complex arguments justifying these things. But I know I don't need any more information or brain-power.
I need to stop making excuses and just act.
I need to stop justifying the easy choices, the cheaper choices in terms of ease or money.
I am worth the effort and the money, so is my family, so is the planet.
I just need to do my best and continue with these efforts.