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Miranda
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I am interested in sharing basic ideas about how we can change our behaviour, both in terms of consuming and giving back, because that’s all we can do really, I think this takes knowledge and creativity as well as commitment.

I have just read a book called Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. She’s the woman who had one small jar of rubbish in an entire year. Apart from obviously having some serious obsession issues, she did have some good ideas. You can’t cut down on the rubbish you produce without consuming less in the first place.

But what’s the best way to keep warm? To get around? to buy food without packaging? To say no to the pressure to be busy all the time? What can we actually do to influence food production, air quality, EMF, use of fossil fuels?

I have just moved to a much smaller house and got rid of a lot of stuff (I haven’t missed it yet). I’m trying to buy fruit and vegetables loose without bags and use a compost heap. I think I will have to get the bicycle out. I’ve given up the tumble dryer. I have said no to a number of things that would have kept me pointlessly busy. I’ve avoided decorations that are not either edible or compostable. That’s what I’ve come up with so far but it doesn’t amount to much really. What other ideas are there?

Katie, I would love to know whether meditating on death made a difference to how you see things and whether that lasts. I remember Hospice visitors saying that their lives felt totally unreal and separate from reality when their loved ones were dying. Everyday things lost all their importance.You could argue that what they were left with WAS reality. But I’m not sure it’s realistic for most of us to live our lives like that on a long term basis. That sense of pared back reality is hard to sustain when you have to live in the world – I think we probably have to compromise a bit. I would love to hear other people’s experiences of this.

Finding ways to support others is a challenge too. My challenge is to be awake to what people need, to keep that front of mind. Then hopefully the rest of it falls into place.