What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Saturday, 30 August 2008

Is being green so hard?-By Robb

Over on celsias.com there a thread starting up about the difficulties of "Being Green"
It includes some good points and worth a read. I don't mean to deny that change isn't difficult but I think it needs to be put in context. The degree of change we, in the developed world, need to make are actually pretty minor compared to the level of change demanded of those on the front lines of climate change. I wonder, what do the citizens of Tuvalu think? Here is my post on the topic.

What's so hard about living an intentional life? For me it's simple, "being green" is about using less of anything produced with fossil fuels, being more self sufficient in as many ways possible, and helping others to do the same. It's the difference between being a citizen and being a consumer.

There is a well known mantra I try to live by at all times and I don't find it a hardship, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, with heavy emphasis on REDUCE.

"Being green" appears much less difficult than being an environmental refugee, starving to death, or drowning, all increasingly likely outcomes for billions of people, even those of us in the developed world, if we continue to consume fossil fuels.

Any action that reduces use of fossil fuel matters, the more the reduction, the more it matters.

For the citizens on the move in India due to the recent unprecedented flooding, those that didn't drown, a massive and immediate lifestyle change is required now. Right Now! No choice in the matter, no pondering how difficult it is, to survive it must be done.

We here in the developed world have the luxury of a continuum of change. It generally isn't forced upon us by calamity, though the citizens of the ninth ward in New Orleans might disagree. For instance, I personally have reduced my flying by over 60% per year in the last two years as I have come to understand it's impacts. Next winter's visit home I hope to be the last time I ever step foot on an airplane. After that I will travel by sea. It took effort, a bit of soul searching, some compromise with my family, and perhaps has been the most "difficult" aspect of my personal continuum of change. I know many people that have already sworn off flying for good, one man I know has not flown in 18 years. Not driving more than once every 2 weeks, not eating fast food more than once a month, not leaving devices on standby, drastically cutting meat eating while drastically increasing my consumption of organic food, changing all my lightbulbs to CFL's, buying only used clothing, growing as much of my own food as possible, staying out of debt to maintain flexibility, the list of actions grows and all are on some sort of continuum.

This is the luxury I have, this is to some extent the luxury I have created. Guilt comes from not doing these things, frustration is eased by understanding that the continuum is a necessary part of transition, and enthusiasm is not "dead of a thousand cuts" rather it flourishes on the life giving blood of a thousand efforts.

We have less than 10 years to get our emissions under control, do we have the luxury of the easy?

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