Modern life drags us into a maelstrom of images and digital contacts, a kind of vertiginous loop where everything is left over but only one thing is missing: time.
And time can be our best friend or our worst enemy.
In this case, I believe that is the culprit of many of the current problems, and the answer to many questions such as why we are not sustainable?
But, let us start with something. How people lived in the past times and before, for centuries and centuries …
PRESERVES: Homemade canned fruits and vegetables were made, everything was used and of course, it was eaten according to the season.
DISPOSABLE, WHAT IS IT?
There were no disposable plates and cups, no compresses, no napkins, no rags! It was all cloth and when it got dirty … it was washed!
SEASON FOOD, LOCAL CONSUMPTION
What is that about tropical fruits in the middle of winter? Before, if in Autumn there was pumpkin, pumpkin that was eaten for months.
DIY IS NOTHING NEW
It seems a current fashion. But before it was almost the only option! Handmade clothes, carved toys at home, wool blankets, cosmetics, soaps … jerseys! It was rare to buy absolutely all the clothes, cosmetics and household items instead of doing much of them at home.
NO MINDFULNESS, NO SLOWLIVING
Simply, there was no other way! Reading, moments of reflection or simple contemplation of the landscape and living and feeling the present moment were normal because… there were not so many TVs, no smartphones or anything to distract us from the moment!
PLASTIC BAGS WHO…?
From burlap baskets, to wrapping food in used newspapers. The thing about going shopping with the bag was not of some eccentric progress as it seems to be now (I don’t get tired of saying “no, no bag please …”), was the norm.
PATCHES AND FIXING THINGS
Honestly, who has time to get socks fixed today? Or backpacks? Chairs. Everything is thrown away, bought new. On the other hand, before, fixing was the most normal thing in the world.
MILK IN BOTTLES
Buy wholesale, glass milk bottles that recharged, giant bags of lentils and not three in a small plastic bottle … No, to boy in bulk is not a new invention at all.
Well, my conclusion is this: time is the culprit, in part. On the other hand, embracing progress without thinking that certain parts of it seem practical at the beginning but involve a setback. Not that we have to become cavemen, but know how to discern good from bad new habits…
And the “live slowly” and “live consciously” … That used to work, lot more than, perhaps nowadays; and there were not these levels of stress, anxiety … And even less the general population living in a stunned and accelerated with a kind of chronic and collective attention deficit. So what can we do?
1. Have hobbies without technology involved.
2. Fix, don’t throw.
3. Admire the beauty of things without the need to share (always).
4. Buy consciously, whenever you can.
5. Our grandparents were sustainable and it was NOT expensive: Everything that is sold as zerowaste but comes out as three times more expensive than normal products … Look at it with magnifying glass. It can be a justified price or it can be an unnecessary scam to take advantage of this pull that is having the “eco-fashion” No, the zerowaste and the sustainable is not and should not be “an expensive whim”!
6. The important thing is the people, not the plan.
7. Dolce far niente: What happened to having fun with simple things? For the mere pleasure of having a good time.
Well, as a final idea I guess that you don’t have to be one hundred percent perfect or excessively obsessive to be contributing to a better world, the key is to be aware and work on it, and gradually create slightly healthier habits.
All images have been taken by me. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0