Living our protests & why it seems easier to live on the moon than to reduce waste

*nerve wracking horror movie soundtrack plays in the background*

Today, let’s talk about personal responsibility;
and how scary this might be ?

Storytime :
I’m often asked why protecting the environment is important to me… As much as I love to see trees, or want the other living beings we share this planet with to have  a place to live too; more obviously than that – and why in my opinion everyone should be an environmentalist- it’s about survival.
Because I mean, we kinda depend on the environment to survive, you know ? Without air, water and [in most cases] soil [I know that hydroponics exist, worry not !] –  to be able to breathe, drink and eat, we’re kinda doomed?
[So, yep, I pretty much believe that, except if you’re part of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement -that’s a real thing by the way- you should be an environmentalist. Actually, ironically enough, even VHEM members are environmentalists in most cases!].

The answer I [and others I know] from time to time got to this ?
‘Oh, don’t worry – we’ll just create water and air in our laboratories…and if  the worst happens, we’ll find another planet to live on ! ‘


More seriously though, I have a few problems with this answer.

First, are you really sure you want to take this risk ?
As much as I believe that humans are amazing and capable of much, to me it feels like playing our lives on a dice roll… Isn’t putting all our eggs in the same basket a bit risky here? [by that I mean : what happens if we destroy our planet and nops, we do not find somewhere else to go ? And even in a scenario where this happens, we’d still need to be able to survive in our current environment until then, right ? So, doesn’t it make sense anyway to protect it ?]

What I think appears even more senseless to me behind these answers, is how easy it then appears to replace water or air artificially, even move to another planet; YET to change our ways of being, our actions -like you know, producing less trash or reducing our uses and hence production of single use plastic * [and so much more, had to link that to the title though !] –  that destroy slowly this planet appears impossible…
[‘destroy’ it for us I mean-  I believe the planet itself would most likely be able to recover if we really messed it up; but we humans ? We’d probably go extinct. ‘We need the Earth, the Earth doesn’t really need us’. That’s a bit of a blow in the ego, I know… ] 

Really ?!?!
If it appears SO easy to achieve all this, why wouldn’t it be just as easy to fix the problems we face here ? If you have so much faith in humanity, why not have faith in our power to change for the best ?
Isn’t it throwing the towel a bit too early ? We still have water to drink, we still have air to breath, why already think of manufacturing these ? Doesn’t it make more sense to try to stop polluting our air or water before thinking to manufacture these ?
And these suggestions contain so many contradictions… For example economics will be used to justify not being able to go toward a more eco-friendly society…but manufacturing air will not be an economic problem? I mean sure, some people would make a business out of it – but then how many people would be able to afford it? When Mr. O’Hare sold air in The Lorax, this was intended to show us how absurd such a world would be, not as a set of guidelines guys ! [Or at least I believe so – and yes, I did just use The Lorax in my argumentation…].

Could this all be because changing the way we act actually concerns each of us ?
That it’s something we actually need to do in the Now – and not something distant that we could delegate to others ? [not all of those who answered like this will actually go and work on a way to achieve these solutions… ].
Does going to live on another planet seem more of a practical solution than changing the way we do things because changing the way we do things is more tangible and actually require something of us ?
Is it because we’re scared of personal responsibility ?

[And then, really, if we mess up here and actually go to live on another planet, and yet do not change our habits, wouldn’t we repeat the same mistakes there anyway ? Is the solution proposed here to move from planet to planet leaving behind us a trail of destruction? ]

Maybe instead of seeing personal responsibility as a burden [”ugh, I need to do this or that…why!”] we can see it as such an amazing opportunity for empowerment [”Wow, I can really have a say in how things happen !”] – it’s once again about what story we tell our-self !
[Totally a common theme on this blog, yep. You can read this post where I talk more about this idea if you wish. I also explore it in many of the other blog posts though.]

This actually also made me think about hence how important it was to live our protests…
I’m totally for protests [as long as they’re non-violent]; voicing out our opinions, raising awareness on certain topics, showing solidarity – that’s great !
But I think it’s important that it does not stop there.
I think it’s important to live our protests, in our everyday life, as much as we can  of course [because I know, even if we are against fossil fuels for example, maybe for now we can’t transition to a totally ‘green’ car yet, and still need to use a car instead of public transportation from time to time-  that’s fine, it’s about doing our best I believe].
To embody the world we want to see.
To actually not only say what we’re against, but to say what we’re for. To bring solutions.
And to embody them. To live them loudly.
In our actions.
In how we use our voice.
In how we interact with others.
In every cell of our being.
[Personal responsibility hence for me is not only about the actions we take as individuals, but also about how we associate with others to create the bigger puzzle of the world- about how we focus on building systems that work for all, or use our voices to ask for changes… why focus on only one level or another? ]

Maybe it’s now too easy to blame ‘society’,
we need to realize that we are ‘society’.
Each of us are part of the whole,
and can ultimately have a say in the bigger story we’re writing together.
Taking back our personal responsibility is, I believe, also taking back our power –
to create positive changes for the world, others, and our-self.

May we embody the world we wish to see so loudly, that it has no other choice than to manifest.
Happy Earth Day !

* For those wondering how quitting single use plastics could have ANY impact : plastic uses a lot of energy to produce and last pretty much forever, does it make sense to use such a material for something we’d use for around 5 minutes, like a straw or coffee lid ?
It also add to our trash problem : if not recycled, it can then pollute our soils and waters. When it can and is recycled,  it still uses a lot of energy to do so. Then plastic is also linked to fossil fuels, that we should move away from as we know… I mainly just like to use this as an example because it’s such a simple habit to change but it does have a pretty positive impact. There’s a lot more to say about this topic and hope to write more on it soon.