The title of this article is, in fact, a phrase of wisdom that Mahatma Gandhi once said. This phrase has become the cornerstone of LACONA’s state of mind for more than 15 years. If we go back several years from now, I will confess that I was thinking very differently. I do not think for myself to be frivolous, but like most people I was used to living very comfortably and my contact with nature was rare, as I lived in the center of Athens back then.
The first awakening of my consciousness was a gift from a friend I had met while attending my first rumba class, like a hundred years ago. Her name was Chrisoula and once we ‘ve met at the dance school, we became inseparable although she was 16 years elder than me. The first time Chrisoula invited me at her house for a cup of coffee was good enough to make me feel guilty and provoke me, at the same time, to change my way of thinking and living. There it was! A recycle bag and a composting machine! I asked her about all these recycling weird habits of hers and by the end of that coffee session I was determined to change my bad unweird habits completely.
Nowadays it is more than reckoning to be blindfolded. As the majority of people have access to the internet, we already are aware of the fact that our planet earth is in huge danger due to human intervention that causes pollution and distraction. The worry about the future of the planet is now global, and this is somehow good news too because the first and most significant step of solving a problem is to admit you are facing it.
Thanks to Chrisoula, I started reading about ecology and trying to embody my new eco-friendly habits to my urban life. I change my whole way of thinking and acting to realize in the end, that I adore that eco-lifestyle! To live without being harmful to your natural home it doesn’t mean that you leave miserable. It means that you live according to your emotional and physical needs. Until today, my life experience on this matter saws that comfort, ecology, and prudence are not incompatible.
According to the scientist, the “ecological footprint” is a way to measure the effects of human activities on Earth. It describes the measure of demand and consumption of a society, as well as the waste and greenhouse gases. If we do a bit of research on the internet, we can easily find out terrifying facts about our ecological footprint. For example, if every single person on this planet consumed the same way as the average European citizen, we would need 3,4 planets like earth to cover the needs of the world’s population. On the other hand, if we divided the area of planet earth to the number of its population, each one of us deserves only 19 acres of land to live without burdening the biosphere, while the average European citizen needs 52 acres today for the same reason. And before you start thinking that Europeans are the “seed of the pollution evil,” according to the same researches the average American citizen needs twice the area of the average European, while the average African citizen needs eight times less.
According to an Indian saying, this planet does not belong to us. It belongs to our children! We should be respectful and wise enough to give them their inheritance in good condition. The quality of life that our children will have in the future, depends totally on our own actions as individuals. To start with, just think of it! Our super-consumerism has led us to have about 15 times more objects than our grandparents use to have. And the question to ask ourselves is whether we do really need all that stuff. It is vital, now more than ever, to change our lifestyle habits. We must respect our fragile planet with all our daily actions. In the beginning, it may seem oppressive or insubstantial, but it is truly essential. At home, while working or shopping, during vacation, while traveling, we must get a fresh ecological consciousness. Τhe only thing we need to start changing is goodwill and very good information. Believe me, it’s worth trying!
Until the next article, do not forget: read, learn and then learn more! This is your eco-superpower!