One step changes everything…

First step

Once upon a time when we took our first steps in life – we really risked everything, we didn’t even know what a step was, and although we might have seen grown-ups around us moving in a totally different manor than our crawling and toddling at ground level… we didn’t know!

It’s not that we gave up crawling all at once, it was still a fairly decent way to get around, but after a number of trials we found out that the “other way” definitely had its advantages…

If we at that moment in life had used the same tactics many people seem to apply when we talk about change to a more Sustainable Society – humans would have still been a “crawling” species.

A trip down “memory-lane”…

TricycleI still remember when I learned how to ride a tricycle, and I am reminded of it every time I look in a mirror – the white scar on my forehead is not covered with hair anymore – it matches exactly with a flange on one of the large cast iron radiators that heated up the house where I grew up… so did this close encounter with “heavy-metal” stop me from riding the tricycle – of course not, once I had experienced the “slipstream” going down the hallway, I was “hooked”…

A couple of years later my parents decided it was time for me to learn how to ride a real bike – after running around for a while holding at the back of the bike, they took post in each end of a stretch of gravel road. In that way I could go straight between them and they could turn me around and send me back in the other direction. On the second stretch I all of a sudden learned how to turn the bike myself and drove it at “full speed” into an old barn… (I grew up on a farm) Memories from that demolition-derby are also still visible on my knee… so did this “havoc” stop me from ever riding a bike again – no way…

Now, you might think that I was some kind of “dare-devil”, but I am sure most of us have similar experiences – and you know what – they all started with a “First step”…

The Staircase of Change!

From an earlier post (Link)

Staircase-to-change

See & Hear!
The first time you read about or listen to information about Sustainability or Climate-Change only small “bits-and-pieces” actually stick to your mind. Some of us need to hear it repeatedly, some get it quicker. The reaction is either that you don’t care so much or that you actually find the information interesting. To get to the next step, you need to overcome a hurdle – You have to adjust your attitude – so that you want to learn more and realize you need to understand what this is all about.

Comprehend!
On this step you do understand that Sustainability is an important issue for us – the people. Most likely you will linger on this step for a while and increase your knowledge, check different sources, read some literature, Google stuff, discuss with friends etc. so that you really understand what it’s all about and how it affects you. Comes the next hurdle – You need to take responsibility, to realize that you have to do your part.

Want to!
Now you know that you are a part of the “problem” that you have behaviours and things you do that is un-sustainable and that you need to change. You have ownership of your situation. Last hurdle but also the highest step – You need to comply with what you know and what needs to be changed. This means changing old habits and creating new ways.

Does!
Now you have changed your behaviour and the new way has become the normal way

This is not “Rocket-Science” and it works much the same way regardless if you are an individual or a corporation – and maybe most important, there is no “elevator”.

But this Climate Change issue is “So different”…

If you, for some reason is forced to use a bike to get to work you probably will resent it, but if you have made choices enabling you to take the bike to work – then it’s something completely different…

Many changes happen whether we like it or not. The “size” of the change and our capability to adapt are the main factors to how we handle it. We all know that if we are to avoid extreme Global Warming, we need to leave 80 % of the fossil fuels already accounted for, in the ground. This will have a profound effect on all of us – regardless if it is about the car you drive, where you live, how your house is heated, where your savings are placed, what kind of work you do and so on.

If you wait until this change really kicks in, it will in many cases be an extreme change with consequences very hard to deal with. Some examples: If you at that point own a fuel-guzzling SUV – who are you going to sell it to…? If your house or apartment is located very far from work areas or from any kind of public transport – will the value of that house stay intact…? If your employment is very dependent on services or products closely related to fossil fuels – How will it be affected…

And I have not even got close to the huge effects from water scarcity, the people migration driven by drought and desertification, instability due to food scarcity, extinction of species and all other really severe effects that inevitably will occur if we cannot reduce our un-sustainable behaviour…

I don’t know how well you can adapt to changes, but I do know that if you can limit the “size” of the change it is much easier to adapt, and that’s really the only reason you need to take a first step towards a more sustainable life – We are well beyond the “IF” now it’s only a matter of “WHEN“.

Lets continue down “memory-lane”…

One Step

WastebinsI remember one cold November day almost 20 years ago when the local garbage company brought eight different bins to our nearby little “garbage-house” and asked us to start separating our waste in eight different fractions – there was some mumbling among the neighbours but after a week or so it had become routine, in fact when the company a year later came to add a complementary ninth bin and asked us to also separate food scraps and other compostable waste, most neighbours turned up eager to know what they were going to do with it – the next day on the bus, one neighbour told me that he was kind of “proud” knowing that the bus we were on, actually was running on biogas partly coming from our “bin”…

This would have never happened if we had not taken that “First step

Another step

Eight years ago I bought an oil coat that I had been looking at for quite a while. It was a little pricey but I thought it could be a good investment that would keep me warm and dry for many years, I was also intrigued by the quality, the environmental-friendly materials, the genuine craftsmanship and the “track-record” and history of the specific manufacturer.

Oil-coatAfter five years of extensive and hard use the coat showed some signs of “fatigue” with a couple of holes and some stitching that had broken. I went back to the store, knowing that the manufacturer had a “maintenance system”. At a cost less than 20% of the original price I got all faults repaired, including a partly knew lining and a complete oil-treatment.

When I came back to pick up the repaired coat, the store-owner offered to buy it at a price roughly 45% of what a new one would cost – he wanted a “vintage-type” coat with some “wear and tear” to it – guess what – it’s still hanging in my closet and I am using it almost every day…

This would have never happened if I hadn’t taken that “First step” and decided to go for a garment that could last and be repaired instead of some trendy “Take-Make-Dispose” product…

Now it’s your step

I could probably go on for a long time telling stories; there are also plenty of them with a not so good outcome… but now it’s time for you to continue to build the story…

Although most of us are, by nature, reluctant to change, it is by far better to change out of your own choice then being forced to change. It is also much more fun to explore new ways of doing things than constantly trying to keep up with increasing regulations and demands.

  • Get involved
  • Get connected
  • homer-trying-is-the-first-step-toward-failureGet knowledge
  • Get moving
  • Get on…

The challenge we are up for this time is the one that ultimately will prove that Homer Simpson is wrong.

“Not trying will definitely lead to failure”

One step changes everything!