What can I do?

16th May 2003 at 01:00
The developed world has never been wealthier, yet many of its citizens feel unfulfilled, and never has the natural world been under greater threat. We must alter our lives and spending patterns if we are to change this.

The following suggestions are aimed at getting you into a more fulfilling and sustainable world:

* Beyond a certain level, there is no relationship between increased income and human happiness. Find where that level is for you, and seek fulfilment in developing yourself and your environment.

* Take control of your electricity use: how many amps does that hair dryertoasterpower drill use? How long since you used hand tools? Or a towel to dry your hair?

Abraham Lincoln's exhortation that "the man who chops his own wood warms himself twice" is the key to liberation from power companies. If you must buy electricity, buy it from a renewable source. If your provider does not allow that option, write to your MP demanding it.

* Toyota and Honda's new hybrid-fuel cars are powerful weapons against the oil industry, abuse of human rights, and the greenhouse effect. If you can afford it, buy one. If not, get a bicycle.

* Buy only organically grown produce, because that way you don't pass the unpaid costs of agriculture on to the environment. Better still, grow what you can at home.

* If you live in an area with enough space, buy a water tank for your house. Saving water from your roof eases the problems of waste-water runoff as well as minimising the need for dams.

* Research your local environment. All too often the wonders we see every day go unnoticed. If we take notice of a complex and nurturing world our lives will be rich and fulfilling.

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