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Doing Nothing Can Be a Very Good Thing…

We feel so energetic & restless sometimes, don’t we? Going out to buy, do, and get seems to soothe us and has turned into one of our most popular hobbies! But what if we do something different, like get lazy? What if we chill and don’t go, go, go? Hmm, well it’s good for the planet, so it’s gotta be good for us too…Randi B.


By Matt McDermottstarfish @ www.planetgreen.discovery.com…

Much of what we do at Planet Green is give you information so you can do something to make your life greener and generally have a positive impact on the planet. But for one quick moment I’d like you to consider that in many instances do less or doing nothing at all can be the greenest option out there. Here’s why:

If I can impart only one bit of green wisdom on you, one which should inform every other decision you make, whether you think of it as green or not, it is that the meta-problem of sustainability and green is that humanity’s current consumption of natural resource and production of waste far exceeds the carrying capacity of the planet and is fully unsustainable.

Which is a fancy way of saying humans consume too much stuff. We do too much. We do it in ways that don’t allow for the natural replenishment of the soil, the water, and ecosystems. And population growth is making it all worse.

That’s the crux of climate change, deforestation, air pollution, water pollution, soil degradation, endangered species, overfishing, animal welfare, energy security… pretty much every single issue we tell you about.

You could use those words in bold up above to tell someone why whatever green issue you’re talking about is a pressing problem and be essentially correct. It might be a broader answer than you want to give, but you wouldn’t be wrong.

Consider that next time you want to do anything that potentially consumes natural resources:

Do You Really Need That Thing You Want to Buy?

You’re in the store trying to decide between buying gizmo A and gizmo B. Both are equally green in terms of materials, manufacturer take-back program, and all the other things that makes a greener gadget, but in fact the greener decision is probably not buying either one and either making do with what you have or making do without it in the first place. Ask yourself if you’ve lived this long without it, do you really need it in the future. You may, but you equally may not. Doing nothing ultimately benefited the environment.

What’s the Lowest Energy Option?

You have to go to the market and get some food (we all have to eat—you’re never going to reduce your resource consumption to zero) and have the option of taking your bike or taking your car. Taking your bike is the far obviously greener option. Walking would be an even greener option. Not only did it take less resources to make, it only requires your own energy to power it. You didn’t substitute external energy for internal energy. Doing less, choosing the lower energy option, helped green your life.

How Can You Live a Life With Lower Impact?

At the risk of sounding like a stereotype of a tree hugger, the next time your out for a walk in the woods, a field, the beach, a park (whatever you’ve got around you) sit down. Just sit for a moment and take some deep breaths.

Consider how you got to your spot on the ground, everything you interacted with, your clothes and how they were produced, the ground around you and how it looks, feels and smells… everything around you and how if came into being, the interconnectedness of it.

Consider how it all came together into this one moment and what you could have done at each step of the way to make it greener.

Don’t berate yourself and be judgmental about it if you find something far from your low-impact goal—that’s not the point. Just observe it and make the mental note to next time do it differently. The ten minutes you just spent concentrating, doing what to an outside observer might look like being lazy, actually could help the planet in the long run.


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