Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Slowing down

After reading Eric A. Davidson’s You Can’t Eat GNP, and then Greenpeace’s seven (7) “climate saving” tips, I've been thinking of some ways to renew my flagging individual activism on the environment. For instance, I’ve been taking note of all the types of garbage I’ve been producing lately at home and at work to see how I can properly manage these. Waste segregation has been a continuing struggle for me through the years. Reflecting on it now, I felt that I’ve not been so consistent in my practice. Reinforcing factors were really crucial in my experience. Thus, it was always easier to separate the biodegradable from the non-biodegradable wastes when there were separate garbage bins or trash cans around. And it took little effort to tell the cashier at the bookshop not to put my purchases anymore in plastic bags when I had my backpack or shoulder bag with me, or when I had my hands free. Taking stock and planning were thus important.

Many times though, it was really a matter of paying closer attention to my practice. I realized that it was always convenient to follow what many people were doing or to simply revert to what I’ve been used to. There was this constant need to remind myself on what it takes to be green and how this lessens my impact on the environment. Which was quite difficult. Thought that it was similar to doing zazen and keeping one’s awareness on the breaths. It doesn’t take long before your mind wanders again to other things. It’s one continuous process of always bringing back your attention to your breathing. Slowing down one’s mind and existence to pay attention to one’s actions was key. So, inside the bathroom these days, I’ve been trying to stay conscious of how much water I’ve been using. All the while, I kept running in my mind the information I got from Davidson’s book about the rate of groundwater replenishment and how in many places this is often not enough to cover the rate at which water in aquifers are used up.

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