Modern living means that we no longer have to walk long distances to fetch a pale of water to drink or bathe. It means we no longer have to wait for months to grow and eat food. It means we no longer have to build our own home while we figure out how to survive, and we have access to family and friends close and far just at the tip of our fingertips.
Are we lucky that we have such a developed cerebral cortex that we have superseded the approximate 8.7 million species of planet earth, or do we just believe this is the case?
Let us believe that yes we have, and then let us consider all the trade-off’s that we have parted within this process – and how we can perhaps change certain behaviours so that we can closer strike what we believe is a better- balanced life for the future of our planet and the biodiversity within it. This, in my self- centered humanistic way of being, would make a lot of sense since I need biodiversity to strike a balance of ongoing resources.
OK, this needs to be simple, so don’t pack your bags and find the nearest cave. Just kidding, but yes, it can be fairly simple. Before we discuss specifics I would like to give you one example of how our reasoning works and how we are best to approach these changes. Trust me they are simple ones and not as drastic as finding the nearest cave.
So when I was a toddler I could not use adult toothpaste, in fact, I didn’t even like the taste of it and my mother purchased “special” toothpaste designed for children and that apparently was just fine for myself. As I grew older it was time to transition to a toothpaste designed for adults and the transition happened gradually until I got used to the different taste and sensation, “Eureka”, I became habituated to the toothpaste.
For a very long time after that, I used toothpaste which I purchased from the market that sold everything life could throw at you, yes the Supermarket which is self-centered sustainable heaven for the modern human.
Hang on did someone say sustainable?
Be careful when you see this word thrown around.
So anyway, one fine day I was at a market which was outside, and they sold real resources which came right from planet earth and were packaged using materials that were sustainably sourced too, WOW. I found a little stall which that belonged to a young vibrant lady from Gozo and she was very welcoming and was just talking to me about her day rather than trying to sell me her things, this gave me a great sense of being which in contrast to the way people buy items today was a relief in itself. So she made her own toothpaste which was packaged in glass jars that you could return for her to refill. When I asked her what she put in the toothpaste which was this dense brown powdery substance she went through a list of herbs and she actually told me why each one of them was an ingredient and how it worked to promote gum health and how it helped to clean my teeth. I was in awe and purchased a bottle which was very reasonable and yes cheaper than the one at the supermarket. So I went home and opened the cork sealing the bottle as I was very curious. This soon ceased as I scooped some of the powder onto my toothbrush and placed it in my mouth. Instead of the smooth paste that I was used too, I got a gritty feeling that was not very pleasing. I rinsed my mouth out and just used the supermarket toothpaste.
That is me, a human in 2019 with no respect for myself or the planet around me, I made up my mind in just a second. I was that kid again with the sensitive palate. So this pretty little bottle just sat there waiting for me to grow. So one day I ran out of toothpaste and I guess this was a sign that I need to “grow up”. In the meantime, I did, in fact, grow up as I discovered more about the planet we live in and the effect that the chemicals which we consume have on us, and furthermore, how we source and purchase them.
So, in this case, all I needed to do is accept that I would temporarily feel a different sensation which I would get used to anyway and furthermore understand the trade-off involved and the long-lasting effect of using certain items over others but most of all to understand the experience that I had of sourcing this item on how it plays an important role in my mood and towards the feeling of having respect for all creatures including other humans.
Written By: Cane Vella