Having a ‘Why’ is Key
Doing the work to live a low impact lifestyle takes effort, it goes against everything we’ve been taught after all. Throwing a party? Buy paper plates so you don’t have to do that many dishes. Hungry? Make a massive bowl of food, don’t worry if you can’t finish it, there’s more where that came from! Sale at H&M? Perfect, change of seasons, time for a change of wardrobe.
Everything has led us to this point of being. We have a constant stream of excess stuff and so accumulating and disposing has just been a part of the ‘natural’ cycle. Buy -> Use -> Throw away and then buy again. It’s easy.
When I made the conscious choice to shift away from these patterns, is when it finally became clear to me – nothing we throw away actually goes away. And I saw where it ends up. I thought recycling worked, I thought the government knew how to manage our waste; I lived in this convenient world where it was all taken care of. Little did I know.
Freediving off the coast of Costa Rica after having just moved to the country, is when I had my first experience with plastic pollution. I was learning how to spearfish, trying to keep up with the locals, and caught something in my hand as I swam offshore. It was fishing line, a big knotted bundle hooked onto the rocks. I looked around and it all came into focus. I saw beer cans floating on the ocean floor, tiny pieces at the surface and food wrappers in the distance. I was hit by an intense sadness. How can something so big and powerful be so vulnerable.
For months I learned to freedive, and to spearfish. I studied the different species of fish, learned to hold my breath and how to catch my own food. It was the first time I was living sustainably, off the land and in connection with where my food was coming from. It was unbelievably exciting, and freeing.
The ocean became my happy place, my inspiration, it became my ‘why’. After pulling plastic out of the stomachs of the fish I caught, I could no longer turn my head away from what was right in front of me.
Finding your ‘why’ is important because it will be your catalyst. It will be what motivates you as you relearn new habits, break old ones and most of all to put in the effort to make the conscious, planet friendly choices, even when it’s inconvenient.
Maybe it’s a similar story of love for the ocean, or a health issue, or just the innate desire for social justice… Do you know your ‘why’? I’d love to hear about it…