School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: April 2010
Self and Sustainability

By Susannah

The biggest green consumer choice is to consume less. It seems obvious yet I watch my self being tantalised by the beautiful bags and dresses on a rare recent visit to the airport. Glittering, gorgeous stuff which make me feel that I don’t have enough - that I am not enough. I work to remember all the beautiful clothes I already have. I’m glad I fly so rarely, train stations are not so full of aspirational glamour. I remember the stories about how, after the 2nd world war, when women had had the enfranchising and liberating experience of working as land girls etc, in order to get women “back in the home” they were sold a dream of being the perfect, beautiful housewife, one of whose chief roles was to consume, just bring on the roller-coaster of fashion and purposely built in obsolescence, et voila: the consumption treadmill.

Annie Leonard’s erudite, snappy little films could be mandatory for all aspiring world citizens. In “The Story of Stuff,” she asks you to guess what percentage of goods bought in the USA are still in use 6 months later. The answer made me wince. Its not, 50%, not 20%, not 10%............... but 1%. I guess that here in Europe  it’s not quite so low, but close enough. So we are looting the earth, attempting linear growth on a finite planet, for stuff we don’t even use, let alone need.

According to the current Harvard Business Review, businesses are increasingly aware of the competitive advantage of being green, and being seen to be green, because of: governmental legislation which is, or will soon, make greenhouse gas production cost real money, the increasing demands and expectation of transparency of environmental and social impacts of products, the realisation that green production can be cost effective as well as consumer wooing, and the consumer demand for products that are good for people and the environment. The power of the ethical consumer who wants to look after their own family and the family of life on earth is being recognised and leading to change. Lets go on voting with our wallets and our voices. Find out about the environmental and social impacts of products from

Other good news:

-You can support the protection of tropical forests by using “Ecosia” rather than Google. For every visit, advertising revenue allows Ecosia to protect 2plus sq metres of rainforest.

-Catch the train! Catching the train rather than the plane from London to Paris creates 92% less CO2, (as well as being a much nicer experience) Vive le EuroStar!

-Slow down: Driving at 70 mph rather than 80 mph reduces fuel (and therefore C02 emissions) by almost 1/3rd. 

- We’ve discovered that we can recycle far more kinds of plastic than we thought. Our council only collect plastic bottles, but actually the local recycling centre accepts a lot of other plastics too. You just have to take them there. It’s strange that its not more advertised, but the facility IS there, we just had to find out, (helped by TT!). Also batteries. Ask your council for what you want, find out what they offer….

- and for when you feel like supporting the lungs of the earth directly, whether or not you have been spilling C02 in the skies recently, we like the World Land Trust for rainforest conservation.

-And we use Good Energy for electricity sourced from renewable sources. They also have a great shop where you can buy energy saving appliances and meters which let you know how much electricity your house or an appliance, is using. Apparently once people can SEE how much they are using they cut their usage by 10% just by having the feedback loop completed. And THAT fits with something Thich Nhat Han apparently said recently; that the great danger for humanity now is that we are not ‘getting’ the information from the feedback loop which links our actions with their consequences. Vive la feedback loop!

- and dance, sing, love and enjoy being a creator not a consumer of other people’s creations. Lets go!


Susannah DK


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.