My Son Stopped Me In My Tracks With This Comment
I returned home from yoga as you do on a Saturday morning and commented to my family as I walked in the front door that it was a glorious perfect day outside! To which my son replied, “No it’s not Dad, it would be perfect if it was raining!” He had a very valid point and he was thinking very differently to me. I was thinking about myself and how lucky we were to have such a beautiful day, where he was thinking about the needs of the planet where. Here we were one hand the middle of winter with clear blue skies, 25°C, and I was swimming in the ocean. What bliss! But on the other hand here we were in the middle of a drought, we have ice caps melting, and rainforests burning. For the rest of the day I had mixed emotions, I knew that this glorious day that I was experiencing here in Sydney was partly a result of the planet cooking and us humans were turning up the dial on the hotplate.
It’s completely undeniable now that things are deteriorating environmentally on our planet and the ability to correct this anomaly is getting slimmer and slimmer. I know many of us experience some level of futility and frustration at not knowing what we can do to bring about change but I also think if we all collectively made a number of minor changes in the way we live our life that we could have a huge impact and make things a whole lot better.
So I have outlined a few things that I feel that if we tweak our lives a little bit, the compounding effect of that could be quite substantial. Now admittedly some of these things go against the grain of how we’ve been programmed by deeply condition systems. The main one of these systems is the system built on spending more money. The entire economic and capitalistic system requires us to keep spending more money which means buying more things, so we have more successful businesses. Anyone in economics will agree that this is what’s required to keep the economic system flourishing. This is one of the systems that is deeply flawed because not only is it leading to environmental disaster is also keeping us completely trapped in a debt spiral that is seeing the banks make more money than they have ever made before and more of the world’s population chained to more debt than we’ve ever seen in the history of humankind.
So here are a few ways we can transcend the system and makes some minor changes that collectively will make huge differences:
1. Buy fewer clothes. Do we really need the copious amounts of clothes in our wardrobe that we need to change every season as a new style comes out? This is something I’ve been exploring a lot more lately, and I’m taking a bit more of a Steve Jobs approach by wearing the same clothes over and over again. I’ve even realised that as some of the fashions have changed I was able to take some of those clothes to a tailor and have them adjusted so they still would look wearable with the current trends. I’ve also got in the habit of repairing my clothes when they have holes in things in them. I was about to throw out some old jeans because they have holes in them and then recalled that when we were kids my mother would always stitch holes in our socks and jumpers to get a few more years out of them. I took them to a seamstress and she has patched them up and I reckon there’s another 5 years left in them!
2. Fly less. Now I’m going to be very hypocritical here because I’m about to go on a substantial tour flying across Australia, America and Europe for my film and book The Portal https://entertheportal.com/ that is coming out soon. This does challenge me because I know the impact those flights have on the environment is quite significant. There are some ways to navigate this by offsetting my flights by buying carbon credits, which gives me a little bit of peace of mind. I can’t help but look at my Instagram feed this time of year and noticed how many people are posting photos of their holidays from Bali, Greece and the likes of Spain. Flying is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and I think we need to start thinking more about this extravagance of holidaying all over the world until we find a better solution for the impact that those flights are having on our environment. Hopefully in the future will have another form of travel that won’t be so impractical on the environment but in the meantime if we are flying, buying carbon credits might help?
3. Eat less red meat. One of the main causes of the burning of the Amazon rainforest is farmers needing more land to grow cows for meat. The meat consumption on the planet is higher than it’s ever been before which is leading to not only a rapid deterioration of rainforests but also huge increase in the methane gas emissions cause by cattle. If you are a meat eater perhaps consider eating more fish or chicken and reduce red meat intake.
4. Buy fewer products packed in plastic. Recently I noticed how many shampoo and conditioner containers we had in our bathroom. And I started to think about how many households will be in the same situation across the world. And this is just shampoo and conditioner! So I went down to my local wholesale grocer that sells bulk grains, legumes and herbs and spices, and noticed that they are now also supplying things like shampoos and conditioners in bulk. I was excited by this and realised that we can now just have one bottle for each and top them up regularly from large containers in the store. We’ve also resorted to buying as much produce as possible from our local growers market and find as many ways as possible to do grocery shopping that doesn’t include using things packaged in plastic. It’s become a bit of a playful game in which everyone wins.
5. Use solar energy for our houses and cars. I’m only renting currently and so our house doesn’t have solar panels even though we requested it with our landlord. But in our future house ideally it will be completely solar efficient and having spoken to some solar panel installers, I’ve been told that it costs less to install solar panels than the current energy costs of our house. My ideal situation would be to have a house that was 100% solar energy that also fuels my car. This is neither complex nor difficult, the technology and capability is available right now and it’s a direction we should all be moving in as fast as possible.
These aren’t massive changes but admittedly they do take time to implement and some of these I’m guilty for not following my suggestions entirely. But I realise that just these five changes alone, if everyone were to make them, it would have a huge effect on the planet. Of course there are so many other ways that we can make a positive impact, but these five stood out to me. Perhaps you have some suggestions? Please share them below. I just don’t think we’re going to be able to get governments, industry and the system itself to make the changes and it really is just going to come down to individuals like you and me to start making different decisions. Let’s hope we make these changes fast enough to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
To exlore some of these ideas further you might like to read my latest film and book The Portal that was created to inspire humankind into a new era and is about the ability for inner change to bring about a powerful planetary shift.
Exploring the role crisis plays in our evolution—and the mental programs we’re born into—this experiential film and book bring to life the stories of six people who have used stillness and mindfulness to move beyond trauma.
An unusual blend of technology, love, human potential, philosophy, brain hacking, stillness and inner peace, THE PORTAL is a film and book that humanity needs Right Now.