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The Sustainable Normal

by cc-Admin

Do we really want to go back to “normal”?

The 2020 pandemic threw a wrench in our way of life. It also highlighted a lot of the failures of the systems we have come to rely on.

For many of us, “normal” before COVID meant a frenzy of doing, buying, outsourcing, commuting. It meant using up resources a lot of us do not have: money, time, energy in a variety of forms.

It also meant the inability to meet some of our most fundamental human needs: being, being together, real connection, creativity, to name but a few.

Then: COVID-19 began to rage across much of the planet’s body.

Or was it the planet herself who was raging?

Demanding our attention to the failing health of our life systems: economies that serve a few and push many to the brink in the historical blink of an eye, the crazed transportation of people and stuff, and the overall abuse of our most essential system: the ecological one.

For a little while, our normal stopped.

We hunkered down, stayed home--families used to the daily spreading of members squeezed together for entire weeks, others alone, not driving places, not buying stuff.

We got used to interacting with masks on, and to push buttons with our elbows.

We also began to remember:

That we are made to be creative.

To be together.

To be outside!

We experienced our global interdependence.

While everything slowed down, we noticed the air was easier to breathe. We could smell each plant! We could hear birds in a way we hadn’t before.

We took note of which business was truly “essential,” and realised that a lot of what we had been doing to survive was not necessary, as it was quickly wiped from the economy.

A veil lifted on what was considered “normal.”

We now have a historic opportunity to redraw the storyboards that made us consume everything from disposable coffee cups to our own humanity.

Can we recreate a new normal, one where we remain vigilant to what is truly essential? Can we shift our attention and practices to a way of living that fosters win-win for us, for the planet and all its inhabitants?

Yes we can! We’ve already started! With our decisions about where to live and what to do for work. With big purchases (do I need a car? Should I get an electric one?) as well as the smaller daily buys in our households (local and organic food, non-toxic cleaning products, reusable water bottles or bamboo cotton pads...)

Beyond that, we are also asking ourselves : will buying this benefit someone beside me? Will this product contribute to damaging, or to regenerating habitat? Will this purchase degrade or improve another’s quality of life?

In thinking macro and acting micro, we sustain and strengthen the markets that support and regenerate everything from human connections to ecological fabrics. We give momentum to a positive loop and build, choice by choice, the circular economy that will take care of everyone.

#sustainable #zerowasteliving #lifeaftercovid

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