Earth, our one and only home, is in a state of disarray as the clutter from our homes escapes into the wild and ends up in the strangest of places. In recent months, whales have perished from ingesting too much plastic, including missing flip flops […]
Author: Cheryl Magyar
Nearly 30,000 years ago, perhaps even earlier, humans decided that it was high time to cover our feet, the earliest footwear being earthing sandals – to walk faster, to run free and to stride more comfortably on Earth. We absorbed the comforts of cushioning our […]
Quiet, reserved, exceedingly thoughtful and not stepping into the spotlight any time soon – all traits to be admired and appreciated in the realm of silent changemakers.
One may think, by the sheer clamor alone, that it is the noise-makers who fabricate greater impacts in the world, yet it often happens that their words fall short in front of their inspired actions. While the ability to speak volumes may favor an extrovert in being an activist, shouting and parading down the street for all the world to see, especially where the environment is concerned, it has been said that sustainability starts at home – the very place where introverts gather.
Introverts will quietly save the Earth
Introverts, empaths and highly sensitive people are contemplative beings, and we are very much in favor of the Earth. We recognize the need to love it and preserve it for future generations. Nature, like us, is quiet, calculated and patient, sometimes annoyingly so. It only flares up during a storm, then quickly settles down into familiar patterns. It doesn’t host wild parties with loud music and forced conversation, nor does it expect everyone to interact verbosely.
Nature, in fact, focuses its power on subtlety and prefers its own version of quiet time. It is only in the human world that we create a cacophony of noise from sunup to sundown, continuing straight through the night in most city-scapes.
Have you ever camped a night, twenty miles or more from civilization? No lights, besides the embers and flames of the campfire. No sounds, except for the creeping steps of a few night dwellers. Night, outside of the city is silent and dark, and it is an amazingly beautiful place to be – at one with the wilderness.
You may still be thinking, how does this relate to introverts saving the planet?
First of all, introverts inherently care deeply for the environment. They can relate to the lone wolf, just as much as they can to the nearly silent pollinator butterflies. Emotions run high in a natural setting, and we are able to notice them if we are quiet, and calm enough, to tune into their frequency. Patience. That is a recurring word both in the life of an introvert, and in the life of a tree. Patience takes us far and keeps us grounded at the same time.
Introverts are excellent at making individual, lasting changes to their lifestyles, due to the fact that we don’t always try to fit in. This allows us to try on new ways of thinking, within the privacy of our own lives. We may choose to create a capsule wardrobe that allows us to wear our favorite set of clothes, day after day. We may choose to mend, or even design our own clothes from sustainable materials – and silently be proud of them! – after all, we have the ambition to sit for long hours with knitting needles in our hands and an audiobook by our side.
We care for our personal health, just as we care for the wellbeing of others, four-legged creatures included. As smart consumers, we first begin to adjust our purchasing behaviors when we sense the muchness of the world and how it damages the landscapes and oceanscapes far away, then we act on them wholeheartedly. In the journey of discovering eco-minimalism, one may even decide to give up chemicals in favor of a healthier home, making their own environmentally safe cleaning products from essential oils and benign ingredients.
Once we realize what is good for us, is good for the Earth, and what is bad for us, is bad for the Earth, then we are in a great place to shift our paradigm.
A sustainable life is ours for the taking!
We just need to ask for it and we will be rewarded with the task to design it the way we choose it to look, all from the quiet and comfort of our own home. It is often the simple, everyday actions that are overlooked when it comes to calculating our carbon footprint. If we can work from home, rather than commute far distances, we are doing wonderful, it suits us introverts anyway. If you are not yet in that position to follow your passion from home, start thinking about how to create the ideal situation that would allow you to flourish and thrive from your private sphere.
What other simple actions can introverts take to start protecting the environment from the comfort of their loving homes?
- Eat locally, or grow your own – food miles quickly add up!
- Go plastic-free, even zero-waste, as much as possible.
- Walk, bike or use a car share when you do go out.
- Print as little as necessary, and handwrite the rest.
- Opt out of mail that ends up directly in the recycling bin – it may take a thoughtful letter, or your presence in person to end the wasteful correspondence.
- Conserve energy and water, open the windows and let in some fresh air.
- Plant a tree and/or invest in a reforestation scheme – the world can never have too many trees! Bring potted plants into your home to help clean the air.
- Get outside and walk/hike/exercise in nature to restore your spirit and your love for the natural world.
At the same time, it will be to your benefit to unclutter your home and get rid of all that no longer serves you. Gift items away to those in need, safely recycle or throw away the rest. A life that is full of space and light, allows for creativity to enter, it also fosters awareness about how much is enough. Once you realize that you have enough stuff, you can focus on the joys and experiences of a life lived well, closer to nature.
Introverts can save the planet as they do not stay silent on topics that they are passionate about. If you are concerned about the future of life on our planet, start taking inspired actions of sustainability today and become the #sustainablechange. The Earth is counting on you!
If you’d like to take your unconditional love for the Earth one step further, Cheryl is here to guide you for 3 months as a sustainable life designer dedicated to working with intellectual introverts. See if Sustainable Life Design for Intellectual Introverts is right for you and claim your spot today! Quietly change your eco-behaviors and inspire others to help save the world!
Busy is as busy does – and these days, life is busy all over the place, which leaves us with very few hours in the day to fully embrace nature. From the moment our dreams are abruptly ended by the sound of the alarm, as […]
Poems are strings of wordswith hidden meanings.Gently whisper the soundsof handwritten thoughtsand they come to lifeupon your very breath.Be careful of the messages you speak,they will echo for generations to come,and they may just come true… Poetry inspired by the environment expresses overflowing feelings in […]
It has been said that a child’s memory, subconscious mind, is heavily imprinted before the age of 7 or 8, regarding all issues, great and small. With kind words and patience, if we shift the focus from what we can teach to what they can learn, then there are many lessons to be absorbed and experienced in the formative years. Keeping eco-minimalism in the forefront, gentle wisdoms can be obtained from spending plenty of time in nature.
Eco-minimalism is not about scarcity, it is about having enough of the right things – that are sustainable, practical and beautiful.
Children are like sea sponges, soaking knowledge and words in, then quickly letting go of everything that does not serve them in the moment. Yet, images, associated emotions, voices and events stick all the same, and these will follow them through life.
Kids are fast to say what they like, and what they don’t, they are trusting of their gut instinct. And we, parents, teachers and carers often try to correct their behavior – when sometimes we are the ones who could use a little correcting. Okay, most times it is us, carrying our own misguided epigenetic thoughts, who could use a little change of perspective.
Siblings can turn out completely different from one another, even when raised with the same guidelines under one roof. We all respond to life in complex ways, without thinking about our actions. One thing is for sure though: you can trust a child to act on her emotions. When surrounded by minimalists, perhaps their own parents, or a set of adults whom they admire, life-changing events are bound to happen in a young person’s life and much if not all of this inspired by nature – what could be better, right?
What lessons can children learn from eco-minimalism?
sharing | environment | happiness | money | success/purpose
1| Sharing – the ability to share is innate, nature is full of examples should we choose to look under leaves and along creek banks. As babies, we offer to others what we have in our hands, ready to give an object away at a moment’s notice – though sometimes we want it back! We are learning what it means to give and to receive. As we grow older, there are times when we want our own things, but many times (especially in a society that has adopted a tendency to overconsume), we have much more than we need. In order to not waste, we must share the surplus. Looking at the world from an ecological perspective, there are plenty of resources for everybody – if we choose to share them wisely.
If children see us, adults, share our excess crops, our precious time and energy, without asking for money in return, then they are likely to do the same. We don’t all need our own of everything – and we must make the distinction between wants and needs so that the message is clear, both to us and to them.
2| Caring for the environment – eco-minimalism, by its very nature, lessens the burden on the Earth as we seek to not purchase more than we need for comfortable thriving in life. It may mean going plastic-free, or striving to reduce our dependence on plastic in our homes. For example, giving up plastic drinking straws, at home and on the road. Offer a straw created naturally from a stem of tall grass, use a stainless steel one or glass instead – or simply go without! It is not a bold concept to refuse such silliness anyway, when not so long ago we drank out of wooden mugs and horns… Offer that to a child and they may reconsider the straw issue entirely. If that doesn’t do the trick, show them images of floating/sinking/polluting plastic in the seas and the devastation that a single, one-time use plastic straw causes – under 5 minutes to drink + 500 years in the environment… Again, lead by example, no straws for you either!
3| Happiness – money may bring happiness to some, but it is not the sole factor to putting a true smile on a child’s face. When you embrace an eco-minimalist mindset, you have much more time on your hands – more moments to be together, out in nature, creating memories that last an entire lifetime. Happiness is a state of mind, not a matter of the wallet. If you can smile and laugh with little, the Universe will take care of you in wonderful ways. See, nature is truly benevolent and it is ready to share its abundance with you, giving gifts of fruits, butterflies, green blades and leaves as far as the eye can see. Nature is often smiling down upon us, it is imperative that we smile back. Finding your own happiness is key to living a fulfilling life.
4| Money – to have, or not to have – or to rely on less? Money is the means to buy what we need, though it is not the only way to get what we want. Before money became the major factor of our working lives, we traded. You might spend time picking apples in summer, later to be gifted with a sled from a woodworker, because that’s what you two agreed to as a fair exchange. This requires patience and trust from both parties, yet it works. It is not instantaneous like an Amazon purchase, but trust us, it is so much more personal and rewarding. We all have skills that can be traded for things that we need, and in the future creativity may be more important than money. Start with this concept from an early age and the transition will be so much easier.
5| Success and purpose in life – an eco-minimalist life automatically allows one to discover more time and freedom in life. In return, time allows us to discover our passion – the things we are best at, what we enjoy doing and what fulfill our existence of a short time on Earth. By contrast, one who works at the same job for 45 years and dislikes the experience, retires with little energy and zest for life. This is not a positive example for a budding, creative child’s mind. Do not stuff a kid’s life with too many toys, with sports to do, with stuff they do not enjoy – leave plenty of time to relax, to daydream, and inspire them to create their own reality.
While many of these thoughts may be seen as commonplace, they are not commonly followed. When most of us “go with the flow”, we are going with the flow of everyone else swimming unconsciously through life.
Children who grow up in eco-minimalist households stand to learn tremendous amounts from elders who treat life with the entire ecosystem in mind. As a result, eco-minimalist kids may grow up with the intent to protect nature, as naturalists, oceanographers, foresters, and organic gardeners.
Start caring from a young age and the Earth will be in good hands for generations to come.
Families who practice intentional acts of sustainability together, will move this world forward, towards a greater future.