Switch to conscious lifestyle products to restore Mother Earth

by Team Conscious Carma

The ‘Pale Blue Dot’ is an iconic photograph of the Earth taken by a Voyager 1 in 1990, from about 6 billion kilometres away. When released, it instilled a deep sense of wonder and inspired an entire generation – to think about the vastness of the universe and the vulnerability of our existence. 

This realization may come to us in simpler ways too, just from daily observation. And it need not always be based on fear and alarm. Yes, a lot is wrong with the world today – our waste is growing, forests are shrinking, and the ocean is dying. At the same time, externalizing our motivation may sometimes lead to it being short-lived – the equivalent of a snow-blizzard making people think the planet is not warming up. 

Human presence on earth is but a blink in the planet’s history, but we have evolved to alter our world in ways no other species ever has. As such, when we think about sustainability, it is a helpful reminder that an individual lifespan is fleeting at best. Our love and admiration should be for something bigger – for the wonders of this planet, the amazing laws that govern it, and how we interact with them. If we base our motivation on this beauty, we may be able to take a longer view that outlives us – that we want to preserve this place – not for ourselves, but because it is worth preserving. 

Making conscious lifestyle choices is a small but powerful expression of this love. Of course, we need basics for sustenance, but being conscious about ‘how much we need is an extremely valuable step we can all take. 

In the globalized, industrialized world, supply chains are complex. An ingredient for a small, obscure product may be getting shipped from halfway across the world, maybe diverting resources critical to that local population, and if nothing else, will generate some form of waste. The key question to be asked is – ‘do I absolutely need this?’. After all, our demand fuels the production. 

The world today supports ~7.8 billion people, with resource demand out-pacing nature’s ability to replenish. However, much of this accelerated consumption is driven by recent trends and throwaway systems. India has been home to many traditional methods that are now emerging as ‘sustainable’ ideas; making cleaning clothes out of old shirts, sharing clothes and books, shopping locally and un-packed groceries, to name a few. Simple steps like these tremendously bring down consumption and wastage; that much lesser land must be cleared out for agriculture and waste landfills, those many fewer animals die, that much fuel is saved on production – it is extremely intuitive if we think about it!

So, if you are someone seeking a conscious lifestyle, begin with reducing. Shopping locally from eco-conscious brands is a great step, but the most sustainable product is the one we did not buy. It also helps to be mindful of the end-of-life of the product and its packaging; will it drain harsh chemicals into our soil and water? Can I re-use that plastic bottle as much as possible? Should I refuse to buy something with excessive wrapping? What will happen to this take-out container? 

As mentioned before, one cannot disregard that many of our ecosystems are at the brink of collapse. This realization can be overwhelming, sometimes all-consuming. But there is an inspiration to be drawn from large, collective action being taken across the world to slowly restore Mother Earth. And we can all contribute by making conscious choices, starting today. 

For this amazing blue dot. Home to all of us.

Gauri Gupta, Founder, Arani Ecosteps

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