Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rants from my inner voices: Environmental Anxiety

Sometimes, I just need to let it out...

-Dear Positive Pam,

I suffer from environmental anxiety.

When I stand in someone's kitchen and see all the food that is packaged and processed, I get a panic attack. When I enter a friend's bathroom and look at the shelves full of body products, I see toxic, cancer-inducing chemicals in wasteful, non degradable plastic containers. When someone shows me their new clothes, I see third-world sweatshops, chemically-grown cotton, and oil consuming overseas shipping.

We're doing this: the inside of an albatross (read article here)

A piece of meat on a plate is the flesh of an antibiotic-injected, tortured and cruelly slaughtered sensitive being, fed on the product of extensive and earth-damaging monocultures.
I also see deforestation of the Amazon for the needs of cattle industry, and the worsening of global warming. When I am given paper napkins and disposable dishware, I see waste of energy and the disappearance of non-renewable natural resources.

And then, I picture the end of the chain of events and my anxiety gets even bigger: my mind starts imagining all these items and their packaging winding up in evergrowing toxic landfills on earth and in the ocean, hazardous household products going down the drain, polluting our waters, destroying the ecosystem, etc.

I see a deprived and dying planet and greed ruling over common sense.

Why do I have to be this way? Why can't I just enjoy the beautiful sight of abundance, the joyful prospect of a fast and easy meal, the delicate fragrance of a toilet bowl that was just cleaned with scented bactericide?

Why does everything have to be so dramatic?
Negative Nancy

-Dear Negative Nancy,

My question is: why aren't more people suffering from the same ailment? Clearly, the situation is alarming and our ways of overconsuming are causing great damage. You are not buying into manic delusion and that's honorable.

However: aware, conscious and cautious don't have to mean anxious. Your mental energy should be put to use for something more constructive. Not only is worrying unhealthy for you, it doesn't help the planet in any way.

Don't mope: act. Do what you can, at your level, according to your possibilities. For every level of energy, for every wallet size, there's something useful you can do, from grocery shopping with reusable bags or inviting your friends over for a seasonal, plant-based dinner made from scratch, to starting a worker-owned construction materials scavenging business or a non-profit vegan restaurant -or making the documentary film that will have everybody turn green!

Inspire people to choose a conscious life
style. If you want to convince, set an example with your actions. Learn, do some research, check your facts and talk eloquently: being mopey, angry or judgmental never made a good "green" advocate.

Also, look around you: there are lots of conscious folks out there, who do amazing things. Community farms, bike building classes, scavenging businesses, food justice advocacy: doesn't all this turn the frown on your brow into a smile on your face?

Vertical Garden, Pershing Hall, Paris (read article here)

Now go out and enjoy yourself!

xoPositive Pam

-Thanks, Positive Pam!

-Anytime, Negative Nancy


Lexi and Jenny said...

This is a great post. Thanks!

Sandrine B. said...

Thanks! I hope we are all making the world a little less toxic and more functional for all the gaybies to come!