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Everyday Enviro with Elise - the courage to act

Date: 19-Nov-18
Author: Elise Catterall

Having the courage to make changes in your own life can have massive consequences for the future of our planet. Image: Oliver Cole © Liam Taylor

Having the courage to make changes in your own life can have massive consequences for the future of our planet. Image: Oliver Cole

So I was recently spending (more) time on one of my favourite websites, The Vegan Company (long-term vegetarian here, but strongly vegan-curious) and I stumbled across this quote used by Dr Ash Nayate in a blog post about minimalism: 

“Ask yourself what is really important and then have the courage to build your life around that answer”.

It really stopped me in my tracks.   Have I built a life around what is really important?  I would say yes, on a personal level – my life is built around my family and friends, my work, etc. And that is certainly what is important to me. But what about the bigger picture?  What about what is important to the world, to the future – not just to me, one person – after all, I’m not the only one here?

If I’m honest, I haven’t fully don’t that – I haven’t built a life around what is ‘big picture’ important. And much of the reason why not, does come down to courage – it takes strength and bravery to take a stand and to speak out, to not care if people disagree with you or what they may think of you, to make changes that may inconvenience others, to go without certain indulgences or conveniences, to be disciplined and to make sacrifices.    

I don’t think I ever really grasped that before and it has really resonated with me and shifted my mindset. Now, instead of worrying about what people say or think when I ask if those eggs in the cafe are free-range or I ask to use my own container at a takeaway food stand, or grumbling about the inconvenience of having to seek out bulk food stores for waste-free shopping, or feeling like I’m missing out when I go without a coffee because I forgot my keep cup and I won’t use a takeaway cup, now I feel courageous, I feel empowered and I feel committed.  These are all good things – for me and for the planet.  

Oh and even if you are not vegan or vegan-curious, I still recommend The Vegan Company – it is an excellent resource if you are looking to reduce your meat intake or adopt a plant-based life (the founder created Meat-free Week, now run by Bowel Cancer Australia), but it is also just a great hub of information for being happy, healthy and kind - to yourself, the planet and others.

See you next time! - Elise

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Elise                                             Catterall
Author: Elise Catterall

Elise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.

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