How many of us are willing to make a few small changes that, when multiplied exponentially, will add up to major changes for our planet and our lives? Most of us!
When my two daughters were little we often read one of our favorite children’s books at bedtime, If Everybody Did by the wonderful Jo Ann Stover.
At the beginning of the book, the reader is asked,
“Did you ever think of what would happen if everybody did things like…”
There are marvelously funny illustrations of what might happen if everybody decided to do the same thing at the same time. We all know that if enough children jump on the bed at the same time it will break. But when we extend the idea behind those tongue-in-cheek examples to disasters unleashed through communal actions of our present day situation on our planet, the imagined scenarios are not at all funny.
If communities today continue to use natural resources indiscriminately, we will run out and be forced to survive in a world of scarce or nonexistent resources. In the three decades since my daughters were toddlers, there have been many times when communities did alter their behavior and make significant changes that were beneficial to our planet’s resources and our survival.
Years ago, individuals in communities throughout the world decided to boycott tuna after learning how many dolphins were killed in the harvesting process. As a result of the boycott and public protests, changes were made in the harvesting and production of tuna. We now have dolphin-safe tuna on the shelves of grocery stores everywhere, and a species is being saved from extinction.
As individuals we can choose to make small but important changes in our daily actions. These small changes will add up to bigger changes, and will eventually lead to a powerful communal impact on our planet, saving resources and species from extinction, and saving the planet for our children and for future generations. If only everybody did…
Here are a few ways to make small changes that can have a big impact, if only everybody did them:
1. Turn off lights and appliances as you leave a room, rather than using excessive and unnecessary power that originates from strip mining coal from the mountains, or extracting fossil fuels and natural gases from the depths of our planet.
2. Turn the AC up a few degrees in the summer months and the heat down a couple of degrees in the winter months.
3. Combine errands when you go out to conserve gas, rather than depend on sources of energy that involve constant political posturing with other countries.
4. Keep the correct air pressure in your tires at all times, conserving energy rather than recklessly using up the earth’s limited resources.
5. Cover your car’s windshield in the winter so that you do not have to run the engine longer while de-icing and scraping.
6. Eat by candlelight once in a while. You may only save a small amount of electricity and the resources used to provide it, but it will be more romantic.
7. Park farther away from store entrances and walk to them. Again, you may only save a small amount of resources, but the exercise you get from walking will increase your health and also increase the health of the planet by decreasing toxic pollution spewed out by cars that rely on limited fossil fuels.
8. Ride a bike to work, the park, the shopping mall or on other errands if they are reasonably close. The exercise you get from biking will increase your health and the health of the planet.
Use Natural Rather than Unnatural Resources:
9. Hang your clothes on a line outside using wonderful, glorious, free—at least for now—sunshine rather than a power source that hurts our environment.
10. Use cloth napkins, real plates and real dishes instead of paper ones that rely on the constant destruction of our precious and limited supply of trees.
11. Take your own mug or cup to the coffee shop or convenience store, rather than using paper cups that also rely on the constant destruction of our forests.
12. Again, take your own mug or cup to the coffee shop or convenience store, rather than using Styrofoam or plastic containers that are the result of toxic processes carried out in toxic plants that spew pollution onto our planet.
13. Use a real metal spoon, not necessarily silver, to stir your coffee, rather than a plastic stirrer you throw away after one use.
14. Use natural cleaning products in your home, rather than using unnatural chemicals created in new and different toxic plants that spew pollution onto our planet.
15. Whenever you act, consider the consequences of your actions, not just to yourself but to the planet we share and hope to pass on to our children.
Lori Crockett: I am interested in helping others grow personally, emotionally and spiritually into happier, healthier, more connected human beings. I am also passionate about conservation, ecology and wildlife preservation. I love poetry, gardening, reading, photography and all things related to the natural world and the Spirit. I spend my days writing, reading, focusing on my own spirituality and studying the religions of the world. I write about spirituality, healing, recovery, nature and the environment. I post a new meditation each day onto my blog, Body, Heart, Mind, and Soul: A Daily Meditation, which focuses on living more mindfully, more spiritually and more peacefully in today’s world.
Ed: Alisha Bull