Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
The word that we use the most in environmental discussion is “change”. People have to change the way they perceive things, change their attitude towards the environment, change the way they use resources, change many things. Change seems to be a magic word. But if things were so easy, we would be living in an almost perfect world.
Changing habits is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Sometimes we don’t change because we don’t want to lose comfort, because we’re quite lazy, or we’re afraid of what can happen. Maybe we don’t change because we are used to so many good things and never tried to live without them.
Irvin Yalom wrote about change in his interesting book Staring at the Sun. The book is about how people perceive death, and how it can change their lives. When people face what Yalom calls an “awakening experience”, they start to see life in a different way. An awakening experience can be the loss of a loved-one, the breakup of an intimate relationship, a trauma, an illness, the loss of a job, retirement, and other situations in which the person seems to lose control of his or her life. To help overcoming this kind of situation, some people start doing what they thought was necessary before, but they never did, maybe because of the reasons written above. Some people donate their time, and money, to help other people and animals, some of them help environmental organizations, some stop eating meat, some get involved in politics, and so on.
We always hear about a person who changed his or her life suddenly because of an awakening experience (to see recent examples of that, click here, and here). No one has any doubt that a way to change one’s life is having a hard time. Being aware of that, we may think: is it really necessary to wait for such experiences to behave differently? Why not start doing today what we always thought to be the best for us, for other people, and for the environment?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
When I finally got a cell phone two years ago (I resisted for a LONG time), I got an iPhone. I share Jobs' obsession with clean design and clean function (I'm a minimalist at heart) and, while I use non-Apple products too, the Apple products 'just work' and they feel great to use. I loved that there is no guide to using the iPhone...that you just figure it out intuitively.
While this planned obsolescence (or is it just rapid evolution in a desired market?) may be good for the economy and it certainly creates a lot of jobs in China, where much of these products are manufactured, I'm not so sure it's good for the environment. Between mining the rare earth metals that are required for touch screens, toxic chemicals used in circuit board manufacturing, and shipping these parts and products all around the Earth (to name three parts of the manufacturing process), considerable energy and natural resources are used.