As our world leaders gather in Copenhagen this week to discuss climate change and reduced carbon emissions, the general conversation has primarily been focused on the commitments and eco actions of our world leaders.
No doubt, leadership is required, but as a sustainability consultant, I find myself reflecting upon an earlier post, "Be the Change: Promoting a Sustainable Lifestyle". Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world." To me, this means not only asking our world leaders to commit to eco action but also to each of us to personally commit to eco awareness in our daily lives.
Promoting sustainable living and "being the change" can take all forms and shapes. In our sustainability consulting, we addresses eco awareness and the integration of sustainability concepts into daily living by asking clients to consider the questions, "Is there an eco friendly alternative to this purchase?" Or, "Is there a more environmentally friendly manner in which I can do x (whatever it is that you are doing)?"
The internet as well as our very own sustainability blog is filled with countless ideas, how to information and suggestions on how to take action. Ultimately, behind every action is: Choice. We each have a choice. Each of us has our role to play. Do we consistently approach the areas of our life with environmental consciousness? We ask for accountability in the restructuring of our businesses, financial systems, our leaders, but are we holding ourselves accountable?
Personal sustainability can be uniquely expressed. What may work for me, may not work for you. However, just as it's our leaders’ responsibilities to work through the issues and the details around these complex issues, so is it our own personal responsibility to make the conscious choice and commitment to take action and be accountable for it.
When others see you living a sustainable lifestyle and they observe you as thriving, happy, and living your values, it inspires them to make similar efforts for themselves. As professional consultant in the world of sustainability, I share with you a favorite quote with hopes that for the duration of the Copenhagen summit, you find the value in eco awareness for yourself.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”