If not now, when?
I spent some time this week reading Hot, Flat, & Crowded: Why We Need A Green Revolution- And How it Can Renew America, a book written by Thomas Friedman in 2008 and then revisited & expanded by Friedman in 2009. It’s well written and straightforward and it definitely reinforced what I already know to be true- we (Americans, yes, but also folks all around the world) have overvalued financial gain and grossly undervalued our greatest resource- the natural environment. This explains why, at least in part, we continue to strain and drain, why we continue to squander- the planet’s finite resources.
That said, if we don’t examine our consumption- our purchases both big & small, nothing will change. We’ve become so addicted to stuff, so medicated by it, that recalibrating our relationship with it is just one part of the massive “treatment” plan we gotta begin. We’ve got to start thinking about where the things we buy actually come from, how they’re made, how long we’ll use them, and what will happen to them when they’ve lost their usefulness for us. Our fate and that of our immensely beautiful oceans, our fertile soils, our air- is tied directly to these kinds of really inconvenient choices. We must choose to become more conscious consumers- straight up.
If we are to outlive the elephants, and the rhinos, and the polar bears, whose fate are signs of our own- if we are to survive as a species, we must restrain ourselves from buying so many of those things that don’t hold value: things on sale, things built to be discarded, things built to be quickly replaced. We must pause before we make a purchase- and not to just save money, but to save our PLANET.
We face an incredibly high stakes challenge on that gets more difficult with each passing day, but like it or not, if we don’t start making consistent, thoughtful choices about what we buy, the fate of elephants, and rhinos, and polar bears will quickly become ours as well.
This is our planet, our inheritance, and its health is the most important heirloom we’ll pass along to generations of humans we’ll never meet.
This musing is dedicated to them.
CEO/Founder, Grant Blvd