I think I can guess your probable response to those rhetorical questions.
In The Guidebook to Optimum Health, I talk about one of the 6 key pillars to experiencing a state of optimum health, as being detoxification (the others are physical activity, nutrition, rest, mindfulness and wholeheartedness), which is impacted by the daily choices we make.
If you follow my work, you know I love the idea of increasing our consciousness. Well today I am going to get super practical when it comes to – what I call – ‘Conscious Living’. How we can make even more conscious choices to support our health and the health of the environment we occupy 24/7.
So here goes.
My wee riff on Conscious Living
I have to admit. When I was younger I was less aware, caring and a whole lot more selfish when it came to my place in the world and the choices I made. Guilty as charged! But as I recently hit the 50 year mark, I now realise there is an environmental cost to producing any physical commodity. There is also an energy cost, which can be measured in kilojoules.
When a product is manufactured it requires energy (to varying levels) – which mostly comes from fuel sources that do not produce ‘clean’ energy (think fossil fuels and the primary pollutants generated during combustion like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, volatile organic compounds, and hydrocarbons).
Also there are generally additional by-products of the manufacturing process, which may include pollutants, general waste or toxic waste, among other things.
I am now consciously aware there is an environmental cost to manufacturing all of the products sitting on the shelf of a grocery store, department store, clothing store, electronic store, etc.
So what role does little individual me play in the bigger picture?
I make choices.
And I realise that my choices have consequences. Good, bad, or somewhere on the spectrum in between.
I realise it is important for me to make more conscious choices, if I want to be healthy and if I want to maintain or improve the health of the environment I live in.
Before I start I want to make a note that these are general rules. My aim is to apply these rules the vast majority of the time (as close to 100% as possible). But I acknowledge there are times I make less conscious choices. My aim is for my conscious choices to FAR outweigh my unconscious and adversely effective choices.
I also want to make it clear I am information sharing, and not poking anyone in the chest. My aim is to share some ideas and encouragement, so you can make more conscious choices in your life and become an even better global citizen.
My Top 7 ‘Conscious Living’ Choices
1. I am conscious about not buying stuff I don’t need.
This is simple. I realise there is an environmental cost to manufacturing products. So I ask myself if I really NEED something as opposed to deciding I WANT something ‘just because’.
The marketing industry is VERY good at convincing us we need something that is completely unnecessary and has an environmental impact. Do you need that new phone, new gadget, new shoes, or new outfit? Do your kids really need that 98th toy to add to their collection?
Side note: I believe a house or living space free of clutter, is more relaxing for the brain and nervous system. It creates more calmness. Test it for yourself. Gauge how you feel (which is a great reflection of your nervous system) when you go into a messy or cluttered space, versus going into an uncluttered and organised space. You know this already!
(The other by-product of this choice is I have more money to spend on the things I really need and that enhance my life)
2. I choose to buy stuff that has a lower environmental impact.
This might require a little bit of extra work, but some general guidelines might be:
- Buy products that are made from natural ingredients.
- Buy products from companies that have an environmental focus, strategy or awareness in their production process.
- Buy products that have been ethically produced as it supports quality of life on the planet. For instance I will not buy chocolates if the cacao has not been ethically sourced. If you watch the series called Rotten on Netflix you will understand the darker side of the chocolate industry.
My conscious living food choices include:
- Buying organic products (because it means less herbicides, pesticides and other nasties are released into the soil, ground water and waterways).
- Buying food products that are grown locally. This removes the environmental costs of shipping foodstuff from the other side of the planet. Aim to eat seasonally abundant food in your country.
- Buying and eating whole foods, as opposed to highly processed foods. This is not only healthy for the environment (there are generally less processes in taking it from the ground to your plate) and it is also hugely healthier for our bodies.
- If you do eat animal products, buy products that have been raised on farms that humanely and sustainably produce their products. Mass produced beef, pork, chicken, eggs, dairy, etc. in the vast majority of cases, adversely impact the environment (let alone the poor quality of life for the livestock).
- Eat less animal products in general as the energy and water used to produce animal products is something like 10 times the energy cost of producing the same volume of plant products. Producing animal products in most cases is hugely inefficient.
3. I don’t upgrade a product unless it is a necessity. I ask myself if the upgraded product is ESSENTIAL or DESIRABLE. If it is essential it happens, and if it is just desirable I generally push the thought to the side to be considered at a (much) later date.
4. I buy recycled or repurposed stuff. I don’t need new stuff, if I can purchase a used item that performs the same function. I also give away or donate things I am not using (e.g. clothes I have not worn for 6-months), so they can be recycled for someone else.
5. I don’t buy things I know I will not use regularly. I just rent things for a short period of time if necessary. I love the idea of sharing a single resource (e.g. car, boat, house, etc.) among multiple people.
6. We pay a company that specialises in recycling our household waste (paper, plastics, etc.). It is our investment to support the local community and greater community. I think if people don’t support readily available recycling options these days, it is a wee bit negligent.
7. We don’t use artificial chemicals in the house for cleaning, or personal grooming. We choose and use natural products.
My Parting words
One of things I am committed to in my life is to be a good person (not always so easy). But I aim to make an overall positive impact on the lives of others and on the planet as a whole. I plan to leave this planet having made a positive impact – or at least have a neutral debt.
The way I figure I can do this is bring more consciousness to my daily choices.
Plus by encouraging others to think more of their fellow earthlings and the planet earth itself.
We don’t have to be saints. But I do believe all of us can make better choices and with those better choices we spread more goodness. We do make a collective difference.
Are there any there that you might be able to integrate into your life? Or did they make you think of some other choice you can make?
As Paul Kelly sung in a great song of his…from little things big things grow.
The little stuff does matter.
Thank you for hearing me out on this one and being part of living even more consciously.
Have a wonderful day.
Take care and much love.
Want help with getting clear about you path, priorities and a sustainable plan? Then get in contact. Just reply to this email or connect with me on Facebook. Also check out PROCESS YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS workshop if you want help with overcoming obstacles and getting clear of the stories and beliefs that are holding you back (and then processing them).