Thursday, October 4, 2012

3 Tips for Staying Positive

Education is the most powerful weapon for which  you can use to change the world -Nelson Mandela

I've been doing a lot of research this week about sustainability and the environment, mostly for personal enjoyment but also because I believe that knowledge is power. I want Simply Aware to be a place where people can find well-informed tips to make their daily lives more sustainable and that can't exactly happen if I live under a rock, ya know?

Anyway, I have three articles for you today that will hopefully educate you a little bit more about the environment and some of the issues that face our planet. I don't want to repeat exactly what they say, you are very capable of clicking on the pictures and following the links. My goal for today instead is to offer some of my own tips for staying positive while reading some pretty scary and disheartening literature.

The Tyranny of Trends by Charty Durrant
Tip Number 1: Don't Get Defeated, Connect With Others
Maybe you feel the same way, maybe you don't, but sometimes when I read articles like this one, I get disheartened and sad that our planet is hurting so much because of us. I get frustrated and I develop a no-can-do attitude and I suffer from the "Well, what am I supposed to do? I'm just one person" type of thinking. The best way to counteract those types of feelings is to connect with others. Talk to someone you know that attempts to be sustainable too. Share your techniques and talk to them about how they stay positive. It truly helps knowing that you are not alone in your feelings of helplessness and frustration. 

Gore Warns Congress of 'Planetary Emergency'
photo credit Stephen Crowley/NY Times
Tip Number 2: Do What Makes You Happy!
Simply Aware is a blog I created to explore some of the simple ways a person can be more sustainable. It makes me happy to be able to share the projects that I am working on and it also makes me happy thinking that even just one person will read my blog and become inspired. If you get overwhelmed when you read articles like the one above, you might be tempted to stop reading. Instead, focus on the ways that you are sustainable in your daily life and then give yourself a big hug! Look at you go! You are amazing for doing whatever that one thing is, no matter how small or insignificant that one thing might seem. I'll just let you in on a little secret: every little bit, every baby step, every simple change you make will help you and the environment you live in.

Why Bother? by Michael Pollan
photo credit
Tip Number 3: Keep Trying, No Matter What
I think Michael Pollan's article is a great example of why we need to stay positive when faced with defeat. He says it best here "You begin to see that growing even a little of your own food is... one of those solutions that...actually beget other solutions, and not only of the kind that save carbon. Still more valuable are the habits of mind that growing a little of your own food can yield." It doesn't matter, really, that you are only one person and it doesn't matter that your doppelganger might be out there wasting every ounce of energy you are trying so desperately to save. What matters is that we are role models for each other and we need to show other people that we will not give up, we will keep trying, no matter what. 

"If you do bother, you will set an example for other people. If enough other people bother, each one influencing yet another in a chain reaction of behavioral change, markets for all manner of green products and alternative technologies will prosper and expand"

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