The world has stopped spinning. Emissions are decreasing. The stress-levels may both decrease and increase, depending on whether we feel scared and worried, or not. The Earth can breathe again. As we go within maybe we’ll discover our own breath again. Or perhaps we continue to chase it, in the quest for everything to return to normal. Return to what exactly? Do we really want “business as usual” again?
World: There's no way we can shut everything down in order to lower emissions, slow climate change and protect the environment. Mother Nature: Here's a virus. Practice.
We were told that it wasn’t possible to stop everything, to reduce emissions and change our lifestyle at the fast pace required, it was completely unthinkable. “We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis” Greta Thunberg said. She was right. If we did, we would have been forced to be where we are today. Where we are due to a pandemic. A virus that is nothing but horrible. She told the world: “I want you to panic”. I understand why now, because it would have brought the necessary changes. We have seen how the fear of the virus and how that panic got us here. But now we have to stop be in a state of fear, worry or panic because that is blocking us. It blocks creativity. Our minds of solutions.
We have an opportunity now. A horrible cause may have come with a blessing in disguise. Do we really want to return to the same tear and wear-mentality we lived in before? Have we not discovered other values now that we have had the opportunity to rediscover ourselves? When the never-ending work/eat/sleep/repeat wheel stopped, what did you find? I found my voice. You know the inner one that so strongly and clearly tells what I resonate and do not resonate with any longer. It has been there all the time, but I have not been as present in listening to it as I am now.
WHAT SOCIETY DO WE WANT TO LIVE IN, REALLY?
It is not a question about if, but about when we need to restructure the economic system we live in today. The planet has its limits. Hence, so do we. “The question is whether we will take the opportunity now to voluntarily change before we are forced into it when the ecosystem collapses?”, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Circular consumption and production are an important key. I see a society where we take advantage of the positive insights we gain from our current situation. Where we care for each other as much as the resources we use, and the Earth we call our home. Self-leadership has never been clearer than at this moment, on so many levels.
THE POWER OF BEING A ‘CIRCULENT’
We all have it – consumer power – and a huge potential for change now. Our society and the economy must roll on – yes, but can we control it from having a snowball effect to a circle instead? I use this time and semi-isolation to find more ways in how I can be a #circulent. Support local and sustainable solutions and companies. Find more initiatives to support that which brings forth a circular economy. To put it simply, to consume more mindfully really. Acting on the vision of the future that I for the first time actually can see, like a light in the tunnel.
Consumption in itself is not a bad thing; it all comes down to how we consume. It’s about whether we over-consume things we don’t really need, which we can’t afford if all the aspects of the effects it brings with it are taken into account in the cost. That is, – the real price.
Borrow, swap, rent, repair, care for, upcycle, recycle, remake: re-love … Take care of. We have long acted as if we only have rights and that the responsibility lies with someone else. But we also have obligations. I know, that word doesn’t ooze positivity within one, right? It’s hard to realize and take responsibility for that being the case, at least for my ego. But the change definitely doesn’t have to be boring! Rather the opposite.
We have a huge opportunity now. That cannot be emphasized enough. A fantastic chance to voluntarily #flattenbothcurves. So ask yourself; what society do you want to live in? What solutions do you see? What future do you want to be a co-creator of?
Have you found your voice yet? The one you use every time you consume. It is more important now than ever.
Alexandra Davidsson works as the Secretary General for the Swedish Association for Responsible Consumption. This text was first published in medvetenkonsumtion.se