Making Sustainable Choices – How About Starting With Ourselves

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Somebody Distract me from my Distractions

We are a society of many distractions. The obvious ones are the gadgets, from TV’s with “reality” shows to iPods and a constant stream of noise in our heads. Sometimes our distractions come in forms which are not quite so obvious. Let’s take information addiction as an example. Many people get up in the morning and simply do not feel like their day is complete unless they pour information from either TV or Internet (and formerly newspapers – remember those?) into their brains.

Specifically with eco-conscious folks, it’s easy to find website after website, blog upon blog of news about horrible “Earth unfriendly” events that are happening around the globe. There are truly big issues here, there and everywhere. Online, many of these sites will catapult you to more sites which discuss similar topics of current and immediate urgency.

Unfortunately, how many times do we get a sinking, depressing feeling after reading someone’s perspective on “news” or about something un-ethical, shocking or dangerous that is going on a thousand miles away from us?

There is value in awareness, sure — but another question to ask ourselves is, “Is our information diet clogging our personal responsibility arteries?


A “Bit by Bit” Way of Thinking

Things tend to grow, evolve and change in small increments. As we begin our “eco-consciousness” by examining our own lives, that thoughtful, mindful process will extend out from us in concentric circles. We won’t get depressed about how there are so many plastics being used in our lives — we’ll do something about it instead, such as utilizing cloth bags for our groceries or choosing a product that is packaged with eco-friendly simplicity instead of layers of oil-produced product.

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Instead of being angry about our society’s addiction to non-renewable energy sources, we will empower ourselves to turn out some lights or turn the A/C down a few degrees. We will then feel emboldened to take larger steps, like changing the type of vehicle we drive or even trying to shorten the distance from our home to our work.

These actions won’t bring swift and measurable change to the world at large. They will change us and our personal environment though, leading us step by step to greater awareness and even, by actions not words, train those in our vicinity.

We can’t force governments, multi-national corporations and societies to change overnight, but we can begin with ourselves. We can implement positive thought in our own lives and surroundings, instead of simply being distracted and pre-occupied thinking about things that are extremely difficult for us to influence.

What do you think? Leave a comment!