mnmlist: step lightly upon this world

by Leo Babauta

There’s a lot we can learn from traditional cultures such as the Native Americans. Including the idea of walking lightly upon this earth.

It’s something we’ve forgotten in hundreds of years of striving to achieve more, to produce more, to build bigger and better things.

We have forgotten to walk lightly, and instead mine the earth of its natural resources, clearcut forests, pollute rivers and lakes and oceans, alter the landscape to fit our needs, make the air dirty and the rain acidic and the ozone holed.

This isn’t news. We’re all aware of the problems, but the solutions are less obvious.

Do I buy greener products? Do I buy a greener car? Do I recycle all the stuff I use?

Well, sure. You can do all of those things, and they are useful. But even better: live a life of less, and walk lighter.

A life of less means you consume less, use fewer natural resources, pollute less, own less stuff, contribute less to greenhouse emissions.

Minimalism, the philosophy of a life of less, is more sustainable because it uses less, and thus recycling isn’t as necessary (though it’s still important).

It’s not sustainable to continue to consume huge amounts of products (no matter how green they are) or use natural resources (no matter how organic).

There’s a lot to write about here, and I’ll write more later, but a few brief examples:

Again, just a few examples. It’s really a mindset, not a laundry list of things to do.

“Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant.” – Native American (Kiowa) proverb