Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Conscious decisions


1. Aware of and responding to one's surroundings; awake.

2. Having knowledge of something; aware.

aware; sensible; deliberate

I have been thinking about this post for a few weeks now but with a crawling baby and less and less free time, it hasn't come to be until now. 
More and more these days people have become less conscious and these are the times when we need to be MORE conscious. We could drive ourselves crazy thinking of how something we do impacts us, someone else, our future, the environment etc. But we all have to start somewhere!
Being a new mom, I am going to do my best with my daughter to teach her how to be conscious of her decisions. 
This topic dawned on me when my 9 year old nephew picked up the new copy of National Geographic (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/table-of-contents) with this on the cover:
 Table of Contents

and asked, "Why are the sea levels rising?" Well first it was, "What is Rising Seas?" so I explained that first and then asked him why he thought the sea levels were rising (also after looking at some pictures of melting glaciers.) He went on to say that the factories were causing it (plus all of the global warming)  - BINGO. A 9 year old gets it! We kind of put in to layman's terms for him saying that factories make more stuff to keep up with demand (the more we use and buy the more they make.) So he responded with well we need to buy less stuff then! Again - BINGO! 

We need to be conscious of things and the chain from raw product to what it goes through to the product we take home. 
Like I said, we can drive ourselves crazy thinking of the processes of everything but every small step, every small, conscious decision we make to buy (or not buy) counts!

Start at the grocery store, it could be the produce we buy - where does it come from? What goes in to growing it (land, workers, chemicals used) and then how does it get to us? Ground, air, train? The costs of doing all of this? The impact on the environment? These are all of the questions that should be asked.
Is it possible to buy local or eat organic all the time for the average person, no not really. It is challenging, we do live in Ontario so we have a limited growing season but making the best choice at that moment is what I'm asking of you.
Moving onto more processed goods, most processed foods aren't usually good for you anyway BUT they are things in our every day lives that have been made/processed in one way or another. Take cereal for example, think of the process that goes in to that - the ingredients, how and where they are harvested, then where are they shipped to for processing individually, then they are taken somewhere else to be made into cereal! Then packaged and shipped to retailers... that's a lot of steps!

So food is one of those things we can't do without (surprise!) - we can make better choices but we definitely can't do without.

Every. Single. Thing. we do, use, eat, drink, goes through some kind of a process - whether it be most minimal (think - growing veggies in our own garden) to the most processed things out there, plastics, cleaning solutions... this is where things get really ugly. There was a lot of press a while back about plastics, namely plastic bags and in other articles, plastic bottles... both are still a huge problem and always will be as long as they are available. That's the thing - if these things of 'convenience' are always available they will be purchased & used, plain and simple. As long as things make money for someone they will be there (unfortunately). 

The scariest thought (for me) is when you take what you do everyday: water used, foods purchased & cooked, laundry washed/dried, garbage produced, fuels used and multiply that by how many people live in your hometown, or by your province, or even scarier by the population of your country and the numbers will make you want to cry (ok so maybe don't do the math because it will make you cry!) 

I could go on and on with examples of how to be conscious but you get the picture; just do your best, be conscious of your choices but don't drive yourself crazy thinking of all of the way you can be conscious! ;) 


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