When I first got involved in the environmental movement, I thought it was all about helping the things I love, like turtles, oceans, forests and people. But what I quickly discovered was that focusing on changing anything else around me before looking inward and making changes in my own life was misguided.
Tend to Your Garden
It is my belief
that we all have a little corner of the Universe, carved out just for us. This
is our own little section that is our duty to care for and manage. I like to
think of it as tending our own personal garden, with all our combined plots
creating the larger garden that is our shared world.
What kind of
garden do we want to live in? How is our
little slice of the equation helping to contribute to the whole? These are very
Ghandi has a quote
that has been very helpful to me on my personal eco-journey, as a human being
and as an environmental advocate…“Happiness is when what you think,
what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”.
recent generations have been born into a world where consumer habits, the way
we eat, how we travel and the way we live are largely inherited through our
society and the media.
We buy clothing
because of brand names, we eat food because “we like it” and it’s what we have
always eaten, we buy gifts for people when our culture says it is appropriate
and although this is not all bad, it
is generally not in alignment with the world we all want to create.
What sort of “silent” impact do those choices
have on us, and our happiness? Not living in alignment with our true beliefs
contributes to that “empty” feeling that is so prevalent in our world, which we
then usually try to fill with more things outside of ourselves.
I challenge you to
write out your vision of what you want the Earth to look like. How you think
the Earth should exist for future generations. Then take an inventory of your
life in some basic categories: food, clothing, hygiene products, what is in
your garbage can right now and how you travel/commute.
Is your lifestyle
in each of the above categories in alignment with the world you want to create?
If the answer is yes, that’s great and you should skip the next paragraph. If
not, start or continue to bring these areas into alignment.
Yes, the problems
we are facing are significant and seem like they need more action than just
switching out my laundry detergent and eating a veggie burger, but these are
the first steps to changing our
world. When we are in alignment with the world that we want to create, we are
happier, more sustainable and more effective advocates and leaders.
care of ourselves is our primary job, and when we have done what we can to
manage our own garden, then we can start lending out our tools and helping out
Help inspire others to go #GreenStepByStep by sharing the ways you’re making a difference on social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag so we can help spread the love!
Kale Black is an Environmental Advocate, Public Speaker, Meditation Facilitator & Energy Worker based out of Burlington, Ontario.