Finding Balance: My Journey To A Smaller Footprint

As an environmentalist, I look through the lenses of nature each day to account for my actions, once unaware of my shadow or the burden of my wealth. I was once focused inwards on personal gain, ignorant of my responsibility as a guardian of this planet. But now I realise this world is not hostile, it is friendly – if we adapt our lifestyles accordingly.

I used to believe the man-made environment, accumulation of possessions and money were easy to balance within the illusion of human progress. I’m now aware that nature’s wealth is far more complex, with intricate ecosystems that humans are only beginning to understand through science.

Simply put, in this modern age of technology, no person can claim ignorance about our responsibility to the planet. I believe each of us is accountable to the laws of nature, and the environment and serving as leaders in our communities. While man-made laws are relative and shifting, nature’s laws are absolute.

Throughout history, financial and natural wealth have been exploited by parasitic leaders for their gain, relying on the masses for labour and resources. But the truth is that human-made possessions are merely tools to improve and safeguard nature’s wealth. Even the financial elite must realise this truth when looking through the lenses of nature.

My “imperfectly vegan” diet is plant-based at home, with the occasional dairy when eating out. I drive a 7-year-old fully electric car charged via renewable energy. Since October 2022, I’ve used no gas in my home, relying on Octopus Energy’s renewable tariff.

But carbon calculators don’t reveal the whole truth about my footprint. I rarely purchase new clothes, gadgets or frivolous things, avoiding their embedded emissions. I minimise air travel’s impacts. At heart, I’m a simple man who prefers reading, writing and engaging with like-minded folks online.

While carbon footprints reveal just a sliver of our environmental damage, I try to consider the bigger picture – from greenhouse gases to heavy metal mining. I believe in buying for life, sharing and circularity to avoid waste. Tracking an item’s lifespan and recycling reveals its true impacts. This mindset is crucial, even in eco-conscious countries like Norway where consumption remains high.

Ultimately, our reality stems from our mindset. I know life is mostly an illusion within our minds. When I find myself longing for things, I meditate on what truly matters. I feel incredibly fortunate that my work has given me financial security, allowing me to relax and contribute to worthy causes. I find joy in improving other lives and the environment, unafraid of judgment. Happiness is a choice – I believe our world can be friendly, not hostile. I’m just another human trying to live, love and laugh despite life’s challenges.