I have been pondering the idea of starting a blog for quite some time and it was one of those things that I always ended up postponing because of lack of time, the necessity to focus on the priorities, the commitment it will require and so on.
As I’ve witnessed this situation become an epidemic, banning events, closing schools, blocking flights, and since it is safe to say that we can expect a national lockdown any minute now, I realised that this is the perfect time to start the blog.
Allow me to start with one of my favourite quotes:
Everything happens for a reason.
Whether you agree or not, it doesn’t change things. The Universe works in its own mysterious way. We cannot be arrogant enough to pretend we understand how the Cosmos work. Our little brain is not even capable of comprehending the vastness of the Cosmos, let alone understand how it works. We can only take the clues and make our own conclusions.
My first blog is dedicated NOT to the coronavirus, but to how what is happening right now can lead us to become better, more responsible, more sustainable human beings.
With the current spreading of coronavirus, we can expect that commuting, working and sourcing of food and basic necessities may be disrupted for weeks, if not for months.
This is not the time to panic, but to reflect. While many responsible citizens already confined themselves in their homes, what better time to contemplate on our lives and how to REALLY become the change we want to see?
We cannot just wait for this emergency to be over and go back to our lives as if nothing has ever happened. We must learn from this experience and make effective change.
Can we use this pandemic to do some good and reset daily habits to be more sustainable?
“Every obstacle carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit” (Napoleon Hill)
According to John Beddington, UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, the world will face a series of unprecedented challenges between 2020 and 2030. He called his research ‘The Perfect Storm’. Besides extreme climate scenarios, he predicts a high increase in population and a higher demand for food, fresh water and energy that will bring about new emergencies.
These will include new and returning deadly diseases and a deep recession in much of the developing world, which will result in failed states, international political tension and 50 million people displaced by conflict, war, water scarcity, food shortages and climate-change related disasters.
Should we be scared? Yes of course we should, climate change is real! But being afraid is not the solution. We need to do something about it before it is too late. We need to become self-dependant as much as possible and we need to focus on these three important topics:
Grow your own food. Start with herbs and vegetables that are easy to grow regardless of skill level or age: carrots, green beans, lettuce, cucumber, spinach, tomatoes, radishes and bell peppers. You don’t need a garden to grow your own food. You can transform a small yard or a balcony in a small garden or even use window sills. Gardenscapes Gardening Services offers regular short courses about growing your own food at home and how to create compost. Alternatively, start a community garden in your neighbourhood, school or workplace. Join others and grow different things so that you can swap and avoid wastage. Food Swap Malta is a great new initiative on facebook you need to check out.
While nearly 70% of the world is coverd by water, only 2.5% of it is fresh. There are many ways to save water. Collect rain water in any possible way you can – during the few days of the year where there’s actual rainfall. Wash dishes, clothes and yourselves responsibly and use chemical-free detergents so that you can re-use that water. Install water-saving shower heads. Use the dishwasher and washing machine for full loads only. Turn off the water during teeth-brushing. Check for leaks and fix them immediately.
To generate electricity, most power plants burn coal, crude oil or other fossil fuels. This is what we must stop doing and instead switch to alternative energy like solar, hydro, wind, biofuel and geothermal. It is an investment that will benefit the planet but your pocket and your health as well. In the meantime, unplug what you are not using, purchase energy-efficient appliances, change your bulbs to energy-savers, insulate your home.
A last comment to give you some more food for thought: China is the world’s top global carbon emitter contributing almost 30% alone. Do you think that China being the epicentre of this pandemic is a coincidence? Share your thoughts and tell me what you are going to start doing today to become a more sustainable and responsible citizen.