August 9, 2010

Ask Not What You Can Do, But What You Can Stop Doing

Photo: 400,000 cell phones are disposed of every day.

Most of us are concerned for the environment and our fellow life forms, human and non-human alike. We want to know how to help. But don't ask what you can do for the environment, or the poor, or the hungry. Rather, ask what you can stop doing. We have already "done" enough, don't you think?

We can not shop our way out of our current crises. Green this, and carbon offset that is an excuse to perpetuate business as usual, but this is what has led us into trouble in the first place.

We need a new model where we need to do less, not more. Less shopping, less flying, less driving, less elevating our social standing through the acquisition of stuff. We can not buy our green way out of this, and try as we might, we will not be able to maintain current levels of consumption.

We can all stop doing things that are harmful to the environment. We have such a large impact from all that we are doing that there is enormous opportunity to make headway by stopping doing it.

It is time to make sacrifices for the good of the planet and each other. And ourselves. We, too, will benefit by living with less. Throw off the golden and silver chains of economic obligation. We are more than consumers, and we shine best when we pare life down to the basics.

Ask not what you can do, but what you can stop doing.

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