Transforming our lives to save our planet

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

To restore balance to the environment we must change the way we live. Author and climate scientist Peter Kalmus is a perfect example of how we can transform our life to save the planet.

It may be foolish for humanity to think we can keep living the lifestyles we currently lead and expect the environment to be restored or even to survive. No technology will save us. No magic pill will make the planet’s suffering disappear.

So what will it take to heal Mother Earth? It comes down to people – people and their actions. But not just any actions. The planet requires dedicated transformative actions from people who are willing to change the way they live. Mother Earth needs people who are willing to sacrifice the things that they thought made them happy but ultimately cause extensive damage to the planet. In our new book The Environmental Fix: How Reprogramming Your Mind Achieves Wellbeing and Resolves Climate Change, we share an incredible story of one individual’s life transformation and commitment to resolving climate change – Peter Kalmus.

Being the Change – the inspiring story of Peter Kalmus

In his book Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution, author and climate scientist Peter Kalmus shares the story of transforming his life and reducing his carbon footprint. One of his major changes was to stop flying in planes, which for a post-doc scientist was a potentially career-damaging decision. But he didn’t just give up flying for work; he also stopped flying for vacations and chose to travel locally in California. Over time, there were many changes he made, including cycling to work, eating homegrown food, becoming vegetarian, starting to meditate, composting, keeping bees and chickens, planting fruit trees, rescuing discarded food, and reusing grey water. His actions may be extreme for some people, but it all started with one small step. And with that small step, his whole life shifted.

The benefits of transforming to a pro-environment lifestyle

To change his life in the way he did, Kalmus would have had to reduce and limit many of his desires. While this may or may not have been challenging, the most interesting part of his story was that as a result of his changes, not only did he drastically reduce his impact on the environment but there were also countless personal benefits.

Kalmus lost extra pounds of weight, reduced his risk of heart disease, and found that homegrown food tasted better. He had more energy and became intensely grateful for each moment. There was an increase in awareness of how his thoughts and actions connect to other humans and creatures. He saw miracles in everyday things like avocados, honeycomb, and time spent with his son. As a result, he felt a deeper connection to the world around him and found his new way of living fun and satisfying.

Leading a contented life

In our busy, consumerist world, how many of us are truly living a balanced, peaceful, and contented life? Is it natural and peaceful to lead a life rushing from one task to another, scrolling through social media feeds, living in cement boxes in the sky, and eating takeaway food while watching television? We are disconnected from the environment, disconnected from meaning, and disconnected from a way of life that is conducive to peace of mind and contentment. If we are to save Mother Earth from further devastation, we need to make committed and radical changes to how we eat, work, relate to others, and find enjoyment. The story of Peter Kalmus is a perfect example of how we can do this.

How can you change your life today to take the first step toward a life of environmental and mental harmony? One simple way to transform your mind and lifestyle is to begin a meditation practice.

Copyright © James Golding and Leisa Golding 2020

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