I first heard these two words from Greta Thunberg. She said she did not blame people for not taking action to protect their environment because blaming them would mean believing they are evil. And she could not believe that. She said the reason they do not take action is because of Cognitive Dissonance. I believe they are either evil or that Cognitive Dissonance is an epidemic.
This unfamiliar term really impressed me. It explains why activists often suffer a form of paralysis or inability to change toxic situations. Like a sleeping sickness, it keeps you comatose, while robbers are pillaging your planet. Understanding Greta’s words nudged me from helplessness to action because I was one of those people suffering from Cognitive Dissonance!
In fact I’ve been suffering from Cognitive Dissonance! most of my life! And I suspect many of you are suffering from the same disease.
After reading Rachel Carson’s book, ‘Silent Spring’! I became a passionate activist. I wanted to join Greenpeace, to practice their passive/assertive strategies in protecting the planet and its precious wildlife. I wanted to promote sustainability worldwide.
But I had household responsibilities that kept me in Cognitive Dissonance!
Many creative passionate people have fought for the planet. Activists, inventors, artists, writers and filmmakers have offered countless solutions, viable projects and innovative inventions — TO NO AVAIL
They went unheard, were bought out, or died mysteriously in poverty and oblivion while big corporations kept raking in the money, polluting and gutting the planet.
We hate it but keep buying into their system and don’t stop the insanity?
I complained! I raged! But I didn’t have money, knowledge or mechanical ability for personal solutions. So I lived with Cognitive Dissonance, (thinking one way and acting another).
Waking up from this disease is a visceral realization. Waking up is realizing that if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
NO, NOT ME!
I’M NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM!
DON’T I PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH?
But I can’t stop governments and big corporations from polluting, deforesting, and poisoning the atmosphere even if they’re stealing the dreams of our children as Greta Thunberg rightfully says:
I love the planet and want it to remain pristine for future generations.
But can I personally cure my own cognitive dissonance?
I do the right things: I buy organic produce; avoid processed foods; use biodegradable products, natural cosmetics and toiletries; I advocate solar power and alternative cars; I dream of sustainable homes and organic gardens.
How can I suffer from Cognitive Dissonance?
Greta’s words touched something deep inside. I CAN’T change government policies, I CAN’T force big corporations to be sustainable. I CAN’T stop people from buying unsustainable products.
But I CAN join others who are individually offering peaceful, passive resistance. I CAN stop contributing to the problem. I CAN stop helpless resignation. I CAN raise awareness and share SOLUTIONS that are doable for anyone now; not tomorrow; not when governments wake up; not when perfect inventions are here! I CAN boycott the system, as Greta does with her school strikes. I CAN undermine the ‘machine’ in my own little way. I CAN help others do the same.
It’s called a grass roots movement and may be the only thing that works. When a situation has no buyers it will shrivel up and die.
Like ants, many individual, conscientious, little hands can move mountains.
That was the beginning of leaving my cognitive dissonance in the past! I watched videos to see how others were withdrawing their support from companies that are harming the planet. These are some of the tips I’ve gathered to avoid filling the oceans and landfills with trash. And you CAN start implementing them NOW. Become part of the solution.
GRETA SAYS: DON’T FLY. FORTUNATELY SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT IS EMINENT JUST AS TESLA IS BREAKING THROUGH THE BARRIERS!
TIPS YOU CAN PERSONALLY DO AND SHARE NOW:
Toiletries: Hand soaps are great and can be purchased at many stores without
plastic wrappings, but they are useless when they’re too small to lather. SOLUTION: Save the small pieces. Create your own new soap bars. Watch these step by step instructions. Additionally, Many toiletries can be easily made.
Consumer items: OMG when I started paying attention to all the individually wrapped products on the shelves in any store, I wanted to cry! Why had I never thought about it before? These wrappers, bottles, and containers are destined to be part of a landfill or to kill our wildlife and marine life. Avoid them like the plague.
SOLUTION: buy in bulk. Take your own reusable or glass container wherever you go and fill up. Use them even for your take aways at restaurants. Remember, most health food stores, coops and supermarkets provide bulk shopping.
Zero waste: Bea Johnson and family have been on ZERO waste since 2008. Watch Bea’s tips on using the 5 Rs at home. Read her book: Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying your Life by Reducing your Waste. I was astounded at the number of people attempting zero waste lifestyles! SOLUTION: If people model these examples, landfills will disappear and mother earth will heave a sigh of relief.
Reusing containers: Glass or stainless steel containers are odor free and recyclable.
They’re perfect for storing foods or other items you purchase in bulk. Carry them with you. If you forget, most health food stores provide biodegradable bags, for items while you get home.
You can buy almost anything in bulk: detergents, shampoos, conditioners, every sort of food, flour, herb, oil, or powder etc. You can totally bypass individual containers.
NOTE: when you empty an individual container you bought while suffering from cognitive dissonance, don’t throw it away. Wash it. Reuse it. Refill it with the same bulk product. It will already be labeled for you.
If it doesn’t ROT, it’s not biodegradable. Avoid it. But if you already have, it reuse it!
GOOD LUCK! PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW AND SHARE WITH EVERYBODY: