September 05, 2011

Slow change

Why is change so slow? Why does it take so much time?

I'm not talking about collective change - it kind of makes sense that that takes a lot of time: convincing a lot of individuals to do something they've always done differently and then actually doing that. But personal change - even for things you believe in and are committed to.

Almost two years ago I took on the challenge of No Impact Week (you can also read my experiences again here). And I started making small changes, mostly focused on food: eating less meat and fish (although that really only kicked in this year) and using almost only organic vegetables. That also changed the way I cook - and am happy to say that I am still continuing with that.

Since then, I've read a lot of books on issues around sustainability. The books that have made the most impact have been:
> Collapse by Jared Diamond (actually, this is probably way ahead of the others in terms of the impact it had on my outlook on the world and its future)
> No Impact Man by Colin Beavan (from the above No Impact Project, yes)
> The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge and others
> The ecology of commerce by Paul Hawken.

But why then, do I absentmindedly order meat ('because it's what the Slovaks eat')? Or still chose to fly even if, in hindsight, going by train would have worked equally well?

And then do it again? And again?

[Another Slovakian train of thought]

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