Solving The Individual
(What Earth Day Should Be About)
When I was young I had a lasting impression made on me by a television commercial. I will never forget the tear coming down the face of the actor who represented Native Americans after viewing the ways people littered upon the water and land from his canoe. The elements were multi-leveled and yet the message was very simple: We as an individual can make the difference.
I know this to be true because my own actions over the past thirty years are slowly, but surely, directing me to Going True Green someday. I spent the time learning, presenting and implementing solutions. Everyday solutions for individuals that range from Basement to Attic, from Appliances to Water Use, from Composting to Recycling, from Photovoltaic Solar Cells to Geothermal, from foregoing what is in vogue to taking the right actions as individuals. The end result saves us all Money, Energy, Water, Air, our Health, and our world's environment. All while living happier and without any sacrifices.
When as an individual we make a difference in our own home, we can then take those solutions to our workplace and eventually set the examples for governments to follow. Sadly this is no longer taking place to any great extent. Some of us may focus on one objective such as installing solar panels or changing incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. While this is productive, one or two elements is not the complete topic. We may have challenged ourselves to accomplish one project so we may feel less guilty, but we fail to understand the complete picture. Today we have the two extreme sides guilty of the same fault. A well known business person may take steps to protect money being made by claiming there isn’t anything to worry about because Climate Change isn’t real. While on the other side we see well known individuals making money with various media presentations by claiming the sky is falling. Both sides are being irresponsible because they have one thing in common: Greed.
This leaves us without all the facts and we easily deviate from the truth. Either extreme only instills fear; and fear cripples all critical cognitive thinking, responsibility, progress and solutions. We as an individual will make the difference when we become accountable and learn all the solutions we can do for each topic element, instead of focusing on just one issue or one type of argument. Pope Francis described the results of these acts in one sentence, “The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.”
So this Earth Day, ask yourself what have YOU done to save MONEY by reducing consumption of: Electricity, Oil, Gas, Water, Air, Plastic, Fertilizers, Weed Killers, Paper, Trees and our world's environment? What have you done to understand all the elements involved with the furniture, appliances and clothes in your possession? What kind of soap do you use and how many chemicals are under your sink when vinegar or lemon juice accomplishes the same objective? How much Garbage do you put to the curb and how much do you really Recycle? Every aspect of our lives, every decision is yours and only yours. All this sustainable living is accomplished while being happier, healthier and without making any sacrifices. We are all one team as an individual, period.
Earth Day is a teaching moment and should be about solutions for us as individuals. Nevertheless, if we don’t solve ourselves first, then humankind will never solve anything.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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