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Inspiration for a Green World: 5 tips by Lonneke Engel

I recently came across this quote by Carl Sagan on the Stop Fracking Instagram account that made me stop and think. I searched for more and discovered that this man, who brought the cosmic universe in understandable language to us, gave us inspirational things to think about and maybe even make a change.

We all notice something is in need of a thorough inspection and update in our World today. The idea of making money, a career, to have a house (with a mortgage) and a car (with a loan), fame ( & power) and buying, consuming & owning expensive “things” is just not that satisfying for most of us anymore. And we see a LOT of problems unfolding in front of our eyes.

What is going on these days? What are the issues of our generation? Why are people worried and upset?

People see that the energy supplies are drying up and we need a new way of energy. People feel they can’t trust anymore what they eat. Our food system is being endangered because some big corporations are trying to change DNA structures of plants (GMO). Nature is being demolished for industries worldwide. There are worries about the Climate Change and if the air you breathe is still good enough and the water you drink from the tap is not contaminated in the future. People worry about possible nuclear bombs and terrorism. Species become extinct, people are being suppressed in countries. (Gay) people are being bullied and attacked. Even pets are legally seen as a material object, a “thing” not a living being and part of your family.

It is all just messed up.

And we all feel this. Everyone wants to change something. People want less stress, less responsibilities, more time to spend with loved ones,  more happiness, greener nature, less abuse, less violence, more peace between people and the Earth. But most people wait till others take the lead… why wait? All issues going on in society are influencing us all, if we want it or not. We can sit by and wait and see, or have an active attitude.

Like the quote says: without clean air and water all our dreams and ideas for the future cannot become reality. And if we don’t speak up what we want ourselves, no one will, and money will continuously rule our World.

But it all feels like too. big. of. an. issue. to. deal. with. and. to. fix.

Where to begin… I hear you asking.

It all starts with our excessive consumption pattern of this moment. That. needs. to change. No way out.

So where to start to live a better, more sustainable and fulfilling life without coming across like a drastic activist, and in a constructive way?

Answer: One step at a time.

1. First thing to remember is: Information is Power. Read and learn about things before consuming something or buying something. I read everyday all day and listen to inspirational people, experts in their field, to learn about their findings.

And if you made mistakes in the past, and people are continuously pointing out all the things you do or did wrong: focus on what you do right at this moment. People will always try to find something to bring you and your good intentions down. You can start any moment to live a better and a more green life! (Good news huh?!)

I made mistakes too, and sometimes worked with companies that are not doing so well on the ethical or sustainable level. But the money I made I now put where my mouth is. Know that every day is a new day to change your lifestyle.

2. Each time you buy something, you vote with your purchase and sustain or change a situation. Because if everyone stops buying products that don’t have a good ethical side to it, producers will change to fit the customers needs. It is that easy. So next time you buy something. THINK about what you are buying. And choose good stuff!

For instance, if you buy cheap clothing or fast food, you are likely to vote for underpaid unethical (child) labor, depleting nature from essential minerals, contaminating drinking water and bad living conditions for animals as well as voting for a bad health of yourself, to name a few gigantic problems our World faces these days. Cheap means, the money savings have to come somewhere. So you might have a fashionable shirt you wear probably only a few times. And then throw out (creating enormous waste). Or eating a cheap meal.  The impact on yourself and the planet is so devastating you probably would think twice to purchase it if you saw all of these problems that come with that purchase unfold at once in front of your own eyes. The amount of chemicals and genetically manipulated ingredients used in the production of cheap food like products and fashion is alarming. And it is in almost all the stuff you have at home probably, unless you live under a rock. So it affects ALL OF US.

3. Think long-term, not short-term. Some people think about the short-term cost of things, in other words: what does it cost today? While I always think long-term. If I am healthy and stay healthy for a long time, I need less doctors, less medication, and that way I save a lot of money! I believe that investing in health and buying good products in the beginning will save money in the end compared to people always buying cheap food and cheap products. Cheap food gets you sick, cheap products don’t last long, are unethically made, and need to be replaced all the time.  Think about your karma, your conscience.. Can you live with the situation you sustain by buying that product? 

Your choice if you want to save money now, or money, your health and your karma in the end.

Don’t you want the best for your kids? Think about every aspect of their lives. What do you feed them, what do you make them wear, where do you let them play…what quality is the air their young developing lungs breath… each thing, each action is of an incredible importance to the rest of their lives. Be aware, be conscious. Are you protecting their future? Are you fighting for clean soil and organic food, clean air & water? Or do you just sit by and watch the big corporations & governments poiling & ruining it all just for the Sake of profits? For our children and their future: you can’t stay in silence, speak up and demand better & healthier products, protection of people, animals & nature and safety all along. There is enough of everything for everyone and for our future, but we are all using it up now. Pretty selfish don’t you think?

It is a fact that buying cheap stuff will only give you short-term happiness when purchased. And it might give you a good feeling for a moment: the ones involved in making it are not happy at all. Let’s be honest here: a 1 dollar meal or 5 dollar shirt sounds like a bargain, but HOW in the world can that 1 dollar product be made with respecting people, animals & nature? Answer: no way. And the bad ingredients in cheap processed foods can help you get serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity to name a few. The toxins used in producing cheap fashion can cause lung & skin problems and the amount of waste created this way… forgetaboutit.

If you knew that junk food, soda drinks, eating lots of meat, buying toxic clothing, shoes and other products would be harmful to your health and that of your family in the long run, would you think twice about buying the cheap, unhealthier version?

4. Think quality, not quantity. While a deal of 2 or more for the price of one sounds like a great deal, it usually only comes for products that aren’t really healthy or well made, and actually could be harmful to your health. While our society has the idea that “We want MORE” is the way to go, and buying lots and lots of things and owning lots and lots of things are the best for you, I believe in Less is More. Also, knowing where your products come from gives a certain extra value to the purchase, besides knowing you help a local producer and the safety of knowing who made it. That is true quality.

I am actually downgrading my life so I can enjoy my life more without the continuous bills coming my way and the worries that come with it. So I don’t have to work to keep up with the bills, and don’t need that much time upkeeping and organizing my belongings. So I have more time to spend with who I love, doing what I love. It is a enlightened feeling if you can say: I don’t need all that. Our family doesn’t need all that. I am perfectly happy with the stuff I already have.

5. Be creative. Companies have tried to make us all look the same: “We give you a lot of the same looking products and you all buy it from us, and you don’t know where it is made, from what it is made and who made it”. It is the easiest and cheapest for companies to produce this way. And the more you buy, the more money they make, which will only benefit a very small group of people. Also, these clothes have usually a bad carbon footprint (Think made fare away like “Made in China”) and create a terrible amount of waste. Just saying.

Back to the “Be creative” part. I hate the idea of wearing an outfit and someone else walks by in the exact same shirt from a chain store. So I try to stay as far away. I absolutely LOVE my vintage shopping, the hunt for that one-of-a-kind piece, and buying from unique designers and local craftsmen. Less carbon footprint: a happier World. Also for furniture the same. Commodity is no fun.  Be original. Exchange products with your friends (and save money too), let people see who you truly are, choose things that are original, that are YOU. And u know what? People will recognize and praise you for your courage and your great eye and originality! Because most don’t have that much originality unfortunately, but they will see it when it is in front of their own eyes. Bonus: being original and recycling products like vintage and antique is usually cheaper to purchase, create almost no waste. The clothes actually are recycled in the economy as well so worth more economically per garment (if that makes sense). It takes creativity, and we lost it somehow the past decades when industrialization and mass production came into our lives, but we can get it back!

So the World is not lost yet.  We have been taught that our voice does not make a difference by the people who run the world in the Old Economy. It is quite the contrary. If you feel like you want to make a change, you can totally do that as every little bit counts.   Because all those little bits together become a big chunk. And people will notice. Companies will notice and will make a chance. Just focus, everyone has their own favorite issue they want to change. And yes, you might experience a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but easy things are no fun. Success is only satisfying when it takes effort to get to that point.

I encourage you to start changing your consuming pattern for the better. “New” isn’t always better,” cheap” is usually not right. If you only become more conscious about your actions, and the things you buy each day with the hard-earned money you made, we are half way there. Don’t believe all advertising, some are misleading. Trust me I know. The way you consume things and produce your footprint on this Earth matters. Every positive little (green) change helps to change this society for the better. And people lead by example.

Open your mind, explore, learn, send out your message and connect with people who believe the same. And foremost: Put your money where your mouth is if you believe in a Greener, happier World. Buy from true organic & green companies, local farmers & craftsmen and buy GMO free produce.

The World is not lost yet. There are a lot of people still focusing on the money aspect of things (so last Century) But even the most corrupt and money loving people and corporations have a heart… somewhere. They just lost the right path a few decades ago, and can’t seem to find it anymore. They only go for the short term profit; they lost the touch with the people who work for them, the animals and products they work with and the environment they work in. But with our efforts and little changes to a greener life we will push them to find the right path again!

Together we stand, all that is important is us, our children and our future.

Love, Lonneke

Founder Organice Your Life®

Carl Sagan quote 2

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One Response to Inspiration for a Green World: 5 tips by Lonneke Engel

  1. Aaron J. June 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    You are good! Not only are you an excellent writer, you also have incredibly good common sense, and an impressivley pragmatic way of thinking, and I must say, convincing as well! You know of all the great points you made, my favorite takeaway is that ‘..but easy things are no fun’!! After pondering that a moment, I concluded that’s really quite profound and wonderful advice. It is infinitely more satisfying to reach a difficult goal than an easy one. I totally agree with your emphasis on quality over quantity, if everyone approached their stuff with this in mind, it would really go a long ways in eliminating alot of the cheap crap that has proliferated exponentially with globalization. They talk of ‘planned obsolescence’ and conspiratorial practices and all that, I don’t even think it even matters how pre-meditated it is, it’s just the cold, hard facts of ‘the race to the bottom’ in terms of business costs and, subsequently, quality. And to try to buy local, local, local is another way to shift that trend and also help out neighbors and communities. When I drink a locally brewed beer, even better that they are union-made, makes it taste better, because I don’t, and can’t, enjoy a product if it was not made by someone treated and compensated humanely. How can I relax in a summer garment knowing it was made in an unsafe, environmentally damaging, sweatshop somewhere? The mundane joy of the low price is little comfort compared to the misery and degradation that went into the production of it, all to enrich a handful of people, and maybe boost it’s stock value slightly. So I use my high quality products until I can no longer use them, heck, they even sell clothes with a used, faded look, on purpose, haha. I figure, ‘ain’t nothin’ like the real thing’!!
    Great article sweetie, keep up the good work.

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