Like a tsunami that recontours natural and man-made landscapes, the Covid 19 pandemic is awakening us from the distraction of our hamster wheel consumer economy to our forgotten awareness of what is really important, and what is terribly wrong. Once the waters have receded will we rebuild as before? On Earth Day 2020 can we use the lessons from the Covid 19 pandemic to stimulate a paradigm shift? This will depend on how each of us chooses to live differently. The key question is not if human kind will survive on a depleted Earth, but:
What kind of an Earth do we want to live on and leave for others? Our lifestyles define our choices!
While we are confined by social distancing, the Earth is experiencing a respite. City skies are pollution free and wildlife sightings in quiet inner cities are increasing for the first time in decades. The message: Mother Earth is resilient if humans learn to respect her.
What do we want for a post Covid 19 Earth? The pandemic provides significant pointers.
- The people who are the most compromised, apart from the aged, are people who are immune compromised, most often by eating food that is not nutritious and is contaminated by man-made chemical pollutants in the soil, water and air. We need food production that does not harm the Earth and poison us.
- We need meaningful contact with community (human and wilderness) for our mental wellbeing not the substitute material stuff that is depleting the Earth’s resources.
- Online work spaces and conferencing, but not 5G, can replace much of our CO2 intensive travelling for work.
- We need to re-evaluate the `job-market’. Why are the people at the frontline of societies essential services such as nurses, doctors, refuse workers, farmers, drivers, teachers, conservationists, etc the most economically vulnerable?
- We need a new financial system that acknowledges that our economy is a subsidiary of the Earth’s ecology. Technology has provided unprecedented levels of communication and material wellbeing. That said, the consequence of an economy that commodifies and replaces Nature with technology is harming our physical and emotional wellbeing.
What kind of Earth do you want to live on?
With that long pre-amble let us look at the lifestyle choices we can make to live in balance with the community of all life on Earth. I invite you to rate yourself by completing the Lifestyle Calculator below. It is not an absolute measure of impact but a way of acknowledging your Earth friendly actions and red flagging actions that contribute to ecological harm. You do not need to share your score. Please feedback on whether this calculator was helpful /or not. Feel free to ask questions about Earth friendly alternatives.
Scoring for the Earth Friendly Lifestyle Calculator below:
Give yourself 1 for YES answers and 5 for No answers.
Give yourself 1 for considerable and consistent effort. Give yourself 5 for no or minimal effort. Have a look at your Number 5 answers and think about the changes you can make to turn each No into a YES.