What can I do about it?

Many times (perhaps most times) when I listen to the infinite struggles that are reported on any given day, I can’t help wondering what is it that I can do?
I mostly shrug my shoulders and feel powerless.
I recycle with great enthusiasm and I feel noble having very little garbage destined for landfill. With changes as to how our materials to be recycled are being handled in Canada, the onus even moreso is on reducing the packaging we create.
Not an easy undertaking. Alas, it’s much easier to just throw up our hands and feel powerless, thinking we can’t make a difference.
Then I read about a farmer named Sadiman in the Gendol Forest of Indonesia and the power of one comes very much into focus.
Sadiman was a poor farmer, growing cloves. But with his earnings, he began growing banyan seeds and transplanting the resulting seedlings into a forest area that was forsaken by extensive logging and forest fires–leaving the area struggling with severe drought conditions, heightened by the drying up of the Gendol River.
Sadiman knew if the hills were reforested, the water would return; it would be stored in the ground and his community would be released from the ravages of drought. So he went about doing just that.
Over a 20-year period, this farmer single-handedly planted 11,000 trees over 250 acres. I’m sure he was faced with skepticism. How can one tree help?
But one tree became another, and another and another, until the hillside was transformed. Sadiman steadily pursued his vision of reforestation and one man changed the future of that area.
I can’t clean up the plastic that is filling the oceans, but I can quit using plastic that might end up there. I most certainly can drink without using straws and plastic water bottles.
I was reading online and making lists of how I can eliminate plastic from my daily life and though it will take some adjustment, I can do it. I can make cloth bags to put my produce in at the grocery store. I can stop buying beverages in plastic.
I can clean with baking soda and vinegar to avoid cleaners packaged in plastic. I can do some searching as to how I can buy goods with the least amount of packaging.
A local health food store, for instance, offers most of its food stuffs without packaging–and any container brought in can be weighed in advance and used to carry the goods home for storage.
I can buy used whenever possible or re-purpose what I have.
I subscribe to a blog called No Sidebar. Various writers contribute to this site, which is all about minimalism and the personal journey of those who have changed how they live their life. I find it inspiring and encouraging.
I can do many things but perhaps most importantly, I constantly can remind myself that like the farmer Sadiman, the actions of one person truly can make a difference.
wendistewart@live.ca

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail