Lately I have been suffering from ethical anxiety: I doubt what effect my efforts to live green really have on the wider world. Maybe it is the falling leafs, the darker days and a cold that keeps on bugging me, but I need some reflection. What have I been doing lately that is supposed to make a positive contribution?
Since finding out that we can bring packaging back to our supermarket, our trash bin is carrying a much lighter weight. In addition, we take our veggie and fruit peels for a compost walk every week. We are now also in full swing with our washable nappies which keep our baby dry around the clock. Only when we travel, we fall back on disposables: comfort surpasses feelings of guilt.
We cancelled our fall holiday, mainly because of baby, but also to work on our PhD's. In general I have lost the strong desire for travelling. Because I am tired of being a nomad the past few years, but also because baby makes me an indoor Christoffel Columbus: there is always so much to discover. Positive result: less CO2 emitted and less waste created.
We bought a second hand buggy instead of paying $ 1.500 for a new model. It is bright orange and family members call it our 'Testarossa', since we don't own a car, but we're proudly roaming the streets with it. Because baby does bring along some extra luggage, we have just registered for a try-out at Mobility cars: the hugely successful 'borrow a car' company in Switzerland.
We have made an effort to become active in our local community. Two weeks back we organized a music evening in a multicultural café to bring together people from various backgrounds, including many who have come here as refugees. I have also started a weekly children's group to support my neighbour's kids deal with the fact that they are being discriminated for the color of their skin.
Baby is only wearing new clothing when it was a gift, otherwise it is all second hand (just like 50% of my own wardrobe).
We have increased the number of TED talks we're watching in comparison to light Hollywood movies that became quite boring. Outcome: we feel more inspired to create positive change (not counting today…).
Because of baby's colic, I had to cut dairy from my diet. By now, I realize that dairy has lost its attraction, even the amazing Swiss cheeses that I thought I could never live without. I have been cooking delicious meals from a vegan blog and whenever I bake a regular cake, it suddenly feels too heavy for my body. I am not sure if I will become entirely vegan, but I do know that my system is quite happy with this new diet.
We have changed our bank accounts to the co-op bank which offers less interest, but investments in green companies and micro-insurance projects.
I have really lost my zest for women's magazines even though they're good to stay updated on fashion trends. Instead I derive inspiration from printed media such as Yoga magazine and Ode, but mainly through newsletters and websites that also save me the walk to the paper bin.
On my to do list are:
Writing this down has showed me that trying to live ethically is really a process, ´for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them´ (Aristotle). It is ok to not be perfect (after first answering the question ´Does perfect exist?´). It is ok to feel anxious sometimes. And it is ok to take a day off once in a while. But it is also good to make an overview like this and realize that all small contributions do help. This uplifts my spirits, even on a rainy Sunday afternoon, at least a little bit. I hope it does yours too.
Photo: Titanium Aura Quartz ring by Nicole Mebane via Fashion Conscience.
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