May 6, 2016

Planet or Profits? Time to Get our Story Straight.


It’s abundantly clear that our planet has become a dumping ground for our post-consumer trash, fueled by our habit or addiction to excessive, unnecessary consumerism.

Many of us use credit for our purchases—inevitably paying interest on what’s already an inflated price for something we very likely don’t need in the first place.

How many purchases do we regularly make without thinking twice about the impact it’s having on our planet?

Credit and debt are robbing us—robbing the economy and perpetuating a hyper-inflated global market place at the detriment to this planet’s overall health and vital resources. It was rough at first, but I’ve finally embraced living with minimal debt, and I no longer rack up debt on credit cards. I’m learning to live within my real means.

I’m learning to buy more and more things used, and I buy them outright—otherwise I don’t really need them.

In layman terms, we are consuming more than we can effectively reproduce without a clear goal for the future of our consequences unless something is enacted globally to halt this trend and reverse it.

Fortunately, the historic Paris Agreement was signed by 170 nations—including the U.S.—on Earth Day (April 22nd, 2016) who have all agreed to recognize and combat climate change.

We’ve been forewarned—the evidence is literally stacking up. I often wonder why people fear doing what’s right and how common ground lingers right at our feet.

Are we seriously doing this to our children?

We’re going to let them inherit the error of our ways because we chose convenience and apathy over doing what’s right?

When will we finally step down from our pedestals to become a part of a changing world? The natural world is altered and is changing irreparably. We don’t need to kill ourselves off continuing to live this way—Mother Nature will do it for us.

Change is happening but not quite fast enough. In just a short span of time, the industrial revolution has caused untold levels of planetary devastation of which we’ve all lent a helping hand. We have finally entered the post industrialized age—the age of light, robotics and automation, civilian space travel and exploration, a global voice and renewable energy.

The possibility to live in harmony with the entire planet is before us, and it’s our job to enact such a reality so that our children inherit a world that is healthy.

Sound legislation and moral principles, influenced by the populace, will help shift our horizons. It may be inconvenient if recycling is mandatory or petroleum based plastics (including microplastics) are abolished.

No government stands tall enough to loom over the vast numbers of people who are inherently good in nature and who would unilaterally choose humanitarian efforts over any profit driven entity which encroaches upon the environment unnecessarily—if the absolute truth was transparent.

Truth lies in our buying power, always. We are the influence and how, when and where we spend adds up—it’s conscious spending and more importantly, saving whenever possible.

Invest in resources that last and are quality made if a purchase is necessary. Upcycling is also a great way to keep trash out of the landfill while resurrecting it for use as something else.

Restoration begins within the individual. We must learn to live from our hearts so that we may hear the cries of injustice being inflicted upon all life. Spirit exists in all things, both animate and inanimate.

Empathy will cure the disease—the pandemic that we call consumerism. Read this definition and maybe consider reverse-consumerism, where the acquisition of goods and services leads to an ever-decreasing supply and demand for resources or commodities.

It starts with an idea, a motive and finally an action—cause and effect that equates to solutions.

Our vote lies in our buying power. We can use consumerism to our advantage while it exists. We can buy more from the source and make more from scratch, reducing the amount of post-consumer trash. On the flip side, we can grow more and buy less.

Purchase food and especially produce from your local farmer’s market and buy goods in bulk. Avoid storing foods in plastic bags and return both paper and plastic to your neighboring grocery store for re-purposing.

Recycling is obviously one way to reduce landfill consumption, but today a revolutionary act is not buying that plastic bottle in the first place—every time.

It’s surprising how much we pay for post-consumer trash, transportation, cost of goods and so forth (excise tax) and how much we can save by forgoing these purchases. Every penny spent is an endorsement and every penny saved is a statement.

Minimalism is a great way to reduce our carbon footprint, and for me it has personally led to a happier life, absent the myriad of needless things I used to hold onto so tightly. Learning to let go has taught me the value of sharing and giving without expectation of receiving in return. Living with less has helped me realize the value of being frugal and also happier while experiencing a richer life filled with more time for freedom.

Voting with our dollars let’s industry know what we expect instead of being marketed to. Informing ourselves and others is crucial to being an active member of this planet. Every day, I throw something away, and I am conscious that I am still part of the problem—the pandemic.

Truth in advertising equals truth in sales. If we demand to know where our products come from and what they’re made of, we can choose to support that particular industry or shift to one who is conscious of planet over profits.

Slowly but surely, I’ve learned to source locally in various ways like buying produce from the farmer’s market—supporting my regional organic growers instead of a monopolized mono-ag company who sells chemically-laden GMO products.

I don’t like pesticides. I want organic. Stop putting chemicals in my food. I want my clothes made here at home. Why do we not have a better recycling infrastructure? Stop telling me what I need through suggestion and mass manipulation. People are not as easily manipulated once they realize that they have been—so long as they’re not fooled twice. It requires our discretion and intuition to trust in the choices we make absent what some labeling would suggest we buy into.

Be decisive. Ask questions and demand answers to what you care about or affects you personally.

This requires independent leadership from every human being. To embody our independence we must become more fully conscious. There is indeed a revolution in consciousness and it’s not too late for us to shift the direction of our focus.

The planet and all of its inhabitants love us and want us to share in equilibrium. Are we fighting an old, outdated system or are we willing to participate in a new era of true freedom and prosperity—a humanitarian movement? The choice is ours.

We are stewards—it’s time to act.


Author: Thayne Ulschmid

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: WikiMedia Commons

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