Last night I watched a documentary on Elsa the Lioness. I was given the first edition of the book Born Free as a young girl. I was captivated by the story and fell madly in love with George Adamson! Then I discovered Jacques Cousteau. When kids were talking about favourite people they would have around for dinner, and were dreaming about rock stars, my interests were conservationists. I admired their spirit of adventure. Of living life differently. Their fierce commitment to Nature. They were conservationists, but I didn’t know the meaning of the word. Until now.
I’m now switched on. The change in thinking was abrupt. I’ve come to realise we don’t have to hear the message in ad breaks. We live the message. Like Adamson and Cousteau did.
On a recent trip to Jurien Bay I woke to watch dawn break at the beach and took it all in. The message of plastic pollution of the oceans foremost in memory. I wondered how I could make a difference. Could I live more mindfully? I realised, shopping is all about planning. When I went home I packed a few shopping bags in the boot and was ready for another grocery trip. I took only two cooler bags to the store and placed my shopping straight into them. To my surprise, I was shopping mindfully. I bought only what I could fit in. The impulse buying was placed back on the shelf. I checked out and found I had spent way less money than I normally would for a weekly trip. Importantly, I had not used any single use plastic bags. The change was so easy to put into practice.
I wondered if I could try the same strategy with money. I use my credit card all the same and rarely use cash. It has been a helpful strategy for business accounts. But when reflecting on it, I realised, I have to keep receipts whether I use cash or credit card. So why not use cash? Now when I travel, I take just what I need in cash with my card as back up. What a difference I’ve made in a month! Money is the tangible proof of hard work. When one has cash in hand, one builds a relationship with it and makes it hard to part from it. The credit card is impersonal.
My only regret today is that I wish my learning took place earlier. I often despair watching children with hand held devices. Immersed in technology, they miss the world around them. So when I saw a young boy wetting a line on the beach, Pacific Seagull by his side, it made me smile. He could have been sitting in the hotel room playing video games. But he was out here at dawn, because he enjoyed the experience of what he was doing. He didn’t catch any fish. It was just the enjoyment of anticipation and being near the sea. He had a relationship with the environment. There is hope ….I look at the ocean differently. The responsibility for keeping it pristine lies with each of us. The answer to a complex question ‘What can I do?” lies within the question. It starts with “I …”.I look at the debris left behind by the tides each day. It’s the kind that makes me happy. Like watching a child fishing at the beach, it also makes me hopeful.
The debris left by the human tide will one day, change.
Until next time
a dawn bird