August 25, 2015 Carole Levy

Maxi-intentions for mini-actions!

Sometimes, we come back from a long vacation with a fresh sense of who we are.

I am definitively an ordinary human being, who like millions of Europeans significantly increases her carbon footprint during vacation. Driving through France from North to South, West to East, I couldn’t resist plastic bottles, industrial sandwiches, and useless trinkets sold in gas stations.

The good news is that while on the road, I had a lot of time in the car to listen to the radio and educate myself on critical human topics. I am definitively a responsible citizen of the world who stays in touch.

The bad news, however, is that now I feel the urge to share with you some daunting data regarding the health of our planet. Here it is:

Since August 13th of this year, Humanity has been living above what it can afford. In eight months, we have consumed more natural renewable resources than the earth can provide in a single year. In other words, we are now consuming above the earth’s capacity to renew resources and absorb wastes. We are “drawing from its reserves”. I’m not sure exactly what “drawing from its reserves” means. Did Mother Nature in her generous kindness make sure to keep resources aside, aware of the greedy nature of her children? Anyway, nothing is new under the sun: since 1970, we reach our quota of available resources three days earlier each year. It’s as horrifying as that.

I’m committed to not succumbing to the soporific denial of simply trusting the word “reserves”, nor to the paralyzing negative beliefs of the doomsayer. Rather, as an ordinary human being citizen of the world, I’m committed to do what I can: take maxi-intentions for mini-actions!

So until mother earth can renew her resources next year, not only will I track and reduce the amount of wasted resources in my life –water, food, gas, electricity, paper, clothes – but I will also track and eliminate wasted energy spent in unproductive reactions – ah yes, my hot buttons! My favorite thing!

Then, on January 1st, 2016, I’ll give myself permission to over-consume, over-work and over-react again – I’ll have permission to go back to my human cravings and emotional imbalance. But who knows? Perhaps I won’t need to do this anymore, having found peace and joy in austerity!

Regardless, it is always important to learn to transform our hot buttons. Stay tuned: the third part of the Hot Button Mastery series is coming soon!

And while –I’m sure- engineers are currently working on creative solutions to the climate crisis, I’m working on my own solutions to minimize the negative impact of hot buttons. See my proposal below and dream on!


PS: For additional information about the daunting data, see Le Monde, 08,13/2015

Comments (4)

  1. Mikabi

    Once more Carole, it’s focused, relevant and appropriate! Thanks for your funny way to depict our intimate reality.

  2. WTG 🙂 It’s very easy to save resources … my favorite petpee (sp?) being – why would you leave the water running while you brush your teeth?

    As for the climate, I dunno where to go for the perfect 20 C weather anymore 😉

    Love and Peace to all,


  3. Charles Behling

    Dear Carole,

    A fortune cookie came with my Chinese dinner tonight, and it’s message reminded me of you. It said:

    “If we do not change our directions, we are likely to end up where we are headed.”

    Hmmm, Charles

  4. Irit

    What are you doing so late sending this posting. I totally hear you and the guilt of consuming. My thing now is not using any plastic or almost any plastic at home or in the super. I will pick fruits -veggies loose and put in in a bag. Also i am composting so that our garbage is reduced to almost nothing. I am really proud of that. Now to my shopping style..mmm..Ok, at least I am recycling it with giving it and exchanging with friends. Way to go still..
    Big Hug and thank you for your sharing. Oh Yes, Hot Buttons..lots of meditation and changing reactivity to kindness. not easy but such a freedom in that !!!! Love you, Irit

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