More than a decade ago, I promised myself to become part of the solution and no longer feed into the problem. I wanted to understand why – myself and others – think the way we think, behave the way we behave, and too often accept that “it is just the way it is”. I no longer wanted to be a bystander in a system that causes injustice towards other humans and non-humans.
I embark on sometimes extreme eco-lifestyle-experiments. The reason that I go into these extremes is 1) because it’s more fun to me and 2) because mainstream societal patterns are extreme. I consider my eco-lifestyle-experiments as a counterbalance to mainstream societal patterns and as an opportunity for others and myself to self-reflect and to constantly question the status quo. I don’t suggest that anyone does what I do.
I consider eco-lifestyles to be expressed in new* ways of knowing, being, doing and having.
My approach to eco-lifestyles has five requirements.
- Effortless. Sustainability is often considered to be a strenuous endeavour in which we have to practice self-control and renunciation. My experience taught me that this approach works – at best – only temporary, until we fall of the wagon. Sustainability has to feel effortless, and it can.
- Intuitive. Science has it’s place, too. But despite our cognitive biases, we can intuit what brings personal, social and ecological wellbeing. That is, once we overcome our misplaced desires. Our true desires are aligned with planetary health.
- Attractive. Beauty makes the world a better place. Beauty moves us. A lack of beauty is a lack of aliveness.
- Authentic. Everyone’s life is highly individual. No one can tell anyone what to think or do. Natural systems work on two premises: each entity is very unique
- and at the same time deeply relational with everything else. We constantly co-create with all living and non-living beings. Our uniqueness determines what this creation looks like.
*a lot of what constitutes an eco-lifestyle is actually not new at all, but has been part of many indigenous cultures for millennia.