Sometimes, we come back from a long vacation with a fresh sense of who we are.
I am definitively an ordinary human being, who like millions of Europeans significantly increases her carbon footprint during vacation. Driving through France from North to South, West to East, I couldn’t resist plastic bottles, industrial sandwiches, and useless trinkets sold in gas stations.
The good news is that while on the road, I had a lot of time in the car to listen to the radio and educate myself on critical human topics. I am definitively a responsible citizen of the world who stays in touch.
The bad news, however, is that now I feel the urge to share with you some daunting data regarding the health of our planet. Here it is:
Since August 13th of this year, Humanity has been living above what it can afford. In eight months, we have consumed more natural renewable resources than the earth can provide in a single year. In other words, we are now consuming above the earth’s capacity to renew resources and absorb wastes. We are “drawing from its reserves”. I’m not sure exactly what “drawing from its reserves” means. Did Mother Nature in her generous kindness make sure to keep resources aside, aware of the greedy nature of her children? Anyway, nothing is new under the sun: since 1970, we reach our quota of available resources three days earlier each year. It’s as horrifying as that.
I’m committed to not succumbing to the soporific denial of simply trusting the word “reserves”, nor to the paralyzing negative beliefs of the doomsayer. Rather, as an ordinary human being citizen of the world, I’m committed to do what I can: take maxi-intentions for mini-actions!
So until mother earth can renew her resources next year, not only will I track and reduce the amount of wasted resources in my life –water, food, gas, electricity, paper, clothes – but I will also track and eliminate wasted energy spent in unproductive reactions – ah yes, my hot buttons! My favorite thing!
Then, on January 1st, 2016, I’ll give myself permission to over-consume, over-work and over-react again – I’ll have permission to go back to my human cravings and emotional imbalance. But who knows? Perhaps I won’t need to do this anymore, having found peace and joy in austerity!
Regardless, it is always important to learn to transform our hot buttons. Stay tuned: the third part of the Hot Button Mastery series is coming soon!
And while –I’m sure- engineers are currently working on creative solutions to the climate crisis, I’m working on my own solutions to minimize the negative impact of hot buttons. See my proposal below and dream on!
PS: For additional information about the daunting data, see Le Monde, 08,13/2015