What can you do to help create a more sustainable world?
What can you do to help create a more sustainable world ?
What can you do as a person in your town, in your city, in your time to help the world become more sustainable? You may be thinking that this involves you joining some sort of volunteer organization, possibly get training in Europe, and then going back to places in South America. That’s definitely one path to take, but actually there is something more practical and cost less money.
Look at your life right now, the stuff you eat, the places you go, or what you consume for entertainment. How do you communicate? How do you live your life on a 24/7, 365-day basis? I’m going to tell you. This is the spoiler. There’s a lot of ways going on.
Take any kind of existence. It doesn’t really have to be high-on-the-hog or top-two-percent type of lifestyle. You don’t necessarily have to be part of a household that makes $200,000 a year. However, even if you feel that your family is struggling, there’s still a lot of fat in your budget. There’s a lot of empty air or places for improvement in the way you live your life.
This is not a judgment. I don’t want you to feel bad. I’m not bullying you around. This is the absolute truth. I just want you to open your mind and look at what’s going on in your life, so you can see that there’s actually a lot to cut back, to replace, or to play around with that can help make the world a better place.
Do you see how awesome this is? It doesn’t have to involve you going out on some sort of a trip across the world to try to fight against some sort of injustice. You can do it in your personal life right now because your life, as well as mine, as small and seemingly insignificant as it is, has a big impact. It does because all of us vote every single day. I’m not talking necessarily about elections, but I’m talking about economic choices.
Whether you choose to eat a burger instead of a vegetarian meal, it has a big impact on the environment. Imagine how much water is needed to grow a pound of beef. It’s crazy and just really out of this world. In fact, if you’re really honest about it, it’s an outrage.
The same goes with the walnut. Can you imagine eating a walnut, and it turns out that California walnut requires gallons upon gallons of water? Imagine pumping that water. Imagine the electricity and the gas needed to pump that water.
I’m just trying to open your mind here as to your choices. So, do yourself a big favor and take a snapshot of a single day in your life, look at all your economic choices, and then walk back to the energy inputs, as well as costs, and possibly political, cultural and social ramifications of that particular choice.
Once you have done that, you would see an overall cost profile. I’m not just talking about dollars and cents. Dollars and cents are important, but you also have to understand that costs take many different forms.
There is also such a thing as opportunity cost, so look into that as well. Once you’ve done that, you have your base number, and then you can look at sustainable ways of living your life. You’d be surprised as to how much healthier and ultimately, happier you would be when you wean yourself of the things that you think are so crucial to your comfort and convenience.
Sometimes, when I go through this type of calculation for my own life, I’m reminded of an old Zen Buddhist saying, “Less is more”. I used to think that it’s just a Zen Buddhist way of tricking their minds into achieving enlightenment, but besides the mystical and religious ramifications of that statement, it actually points us in a direction as to how to live our lives.
Sometimes, when we strip everything down to the bare essentials, focus on our needs, and work from there, we tend to become happier, more grateful, and ultimately this leads to a more efficient life. You don’t have to eat up a ton of resources to eventually get to the same place. In fact, you can be happier with less. How awesome is that?