I think the Steemit community would agree that our "leaders" in governments and corporations are not doing a very good job of providing for humanity or preparing for the future. In fact in most cases they are actively harming humans and the planet we rely on for survival. Many of us wish to change the system that has been created to control us, or think we can vote our way out of these problems. Others seem determined to destroy the system all together. These attempts at positive change often result in no progress or worse a negative response. For example, protesting police violence with rioting and violence often results in a more militarized police force that is more fearful and violent. These actions only serve to justify the aggressor's aggression. Some have suggested that a violent revolution is the key to overthrowing the system. I think this is a poor idea for many reasons, but let's start with the obvious. MANY people would die horrible deaths in the process, we live in the drone age and the carnage would be impossible to imagine. Secondly, can you name a violent revolution that resulted in positive change? Some argument could be made for the American Revolution, but the US government soon imposed taxes and laws which less than 250 years later resulted in the current monstrosity policing and polluting the world. Not very Constitutional. So what can be done to make actual positive change?
In my opinion the only real power the people can wield, without much fear of violent reprisals, is the power of the boycott. Vote with your wallet, and if done en masse progress will be made. It takes away the power that the system has over you. Stop buying products from companies that you disagree with, eat at restaurants that use locally sourced food, use cash for your transactions instead of credit cards, avoid taxes if it is legal to do so. This will require you to make changes in the way you live. It can be taken to the extreme by being a hermit out in the woods living entirely off grid, but I think many people still want to enjoy the comforts of modern society. While it is not a simple path, there is a lot that you can do just by living a more sustainable lifestyle. Self sufficiency is the key, you have to be able to provide for yourself. This will require you to learn new skills and put in the effort. Unless you have millions of dollars to start with, it will be a lifelong process. The rest of this article will be about ways that we can work together on to live a more sustainable life and hopefully help others to do so as well.
Where does your water come from? How much does it cost you to get it? Water is the most important resource to human kind, second only to oxygen. Clean drinking water is becoming more and more rare these days and our ever expanding population is straining the resource to a breaking point. Many large corporations and some governments have already moved in for monopolies on water and the cost can be seen rising world-wide. Most people do not have a choice and are forced to rely on the local government for their water and pay the bill every month. The reasons to reduce your water usage in this situation are obvious, pay less money. Most municipal water is sterilized with chemicals and has things added like fluoride, these can be harmful to your health. Using a high quality water filter for city water is something you may want to consider. You can also mitigate the water you pay for by collecting rain water for non-potable applications. Another option is to live in an area that you can have your own well. This can be the ideal option but you have to keep in mind the environmental impacts of a well. Most wells also require electricity, so if the power goes out so does your water. This may not be the case with a municipal based water supply that uses the gravity from a water tower for pressure. In all cases using water responsibly and having secondary water supplies like rain water collection is a good idea.
Like water, clean healthy food is a rare commodity these days. Most of our society lives on cheap industrial farming methods that destroy the environment and produce an unhealthy and immoral product. You can try to avoid GMOs and industrial farmed food by shopping for locally produced sustainable products at your local farmer's market or eating at restaurants that source their foods from local farmers. This can be very costly, most small scale and sustainable operations offer a premium product and it costs more to produce. The cheaper option is to grow your own food. You pay in labor but save lots of money and can be totally sure of the quality of your food. If you would like some more information about sustainable agriculture, check out some of our other posts.
Health is closely associated with the quality of the food you eat, just by eating better food you will notice a major improvement in the way you feel and your energy levels. Having more energy means you are more active, and exercise will also serve to better your health and your ability to provide for yourself. Improving your overall health will mean that you are less reliant on the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry. With the high price of healthcare this could potentially save you a lot of costs over a lifetime. Overall health will be improved even more by avoiding pharmaceutical drugs as many of these compounds have dangerous and unpredictable side effects.
Electricity / Energy
Not many people these days can live without electricity, this is true even in most third world nations. The production of energy, industrial farming, and war are the human activities that are having the greatest negative impacts on our natural world. Energy production in particular has had the most attention paid to it in recent history. How ever you feel about climate change, there is no denying that pollution in general is a major issue for our species to deal with. Energy production plays a major role and is a major source of this pollution. From Fukushima leaking radioactive water that will be in our oceans for 21,000 years, to the multitude of oil spills all over the world, energy production is taking its toll. The immoral nature of these companies controlling the energy production is obvious. There are many ways to reduce the energy you use, just start small and work your way up. Having a solar unit or other form of sustainable energy home is great, but this is economically unattainable for most people. Just reducing the energy you use and therefore the money paid/power given to these companies is something everyone can do.
Closely related with the use and production of energy is transportation. A large portion of our energy production goes to transportation. So what are some ways you can reduce funding to immoral transportation industries and the pollution associated with them? Well if you make the big bucks you could buy a Tesla and drive around on battery power after charging your car on your solar home. Or if you are like most of us, working everyday just to get by, then there are some cheaper things you can do. For several years I got around entirely by bicycle, it definitely was not easy or convenient but it had almost zero impact on the environment, cost me almost nothing, and kept me in great shape. This obviously isn't for everybody and the limitations of distance, time, and weather are major issues. Having a car that gets good gas mileage or maybe even a motorcycle can at least help mitigate transportation costs for the average person. Living in an urban area where you can walk to most of the places you go is also an option, though this may limit your sustainability in other areas of life. Some of the more modern forms of public transportation can also be very efficient.
Being able to protect yourself and your loved ones is very important to a self-sufficient existence. Historically relying on the government to protect your person and your rights has been a questionable endeavor. From corruption to incompetence the "authorities" are often people you want to avoid. Democide or death by government was the leading cause of death in the 20th century, and so far it looks like humanity is going for a new record in the 21st. Not to say all government officials are bad, just don't expect them to always have your best interests as a high priority. The best way to help ensure your own security and well being is to be more aware of your surroundings, don't have your eyes on your phone constantly. Get to know the people around you, talk to your neighbors, get involved in community activities. Learning some basic self-defense skills is also a good idea, you don't have to be a black belt, most threats are looking for an easy target that won't resist. Carrying non-lethal weapons like tasers or pepper spray and practicing how to use them can save your life. Knowing how effective these tools are is important, understand that the weapons have limitations. Some people may even want to own or carry a firearm if their jurisdiction allows it, if you decide to take this route know the laws well and train often.
I'm sure most people that are wise enough to understand the possibilities of the Steemit platform, also understand the basics of fiat currencies. The control of money by the banks is the blood that flows through the beast. As seen in recent history the banks and governments of the world are trying to crack down on an individuals right to anonymity of finances. They want everything digital so that a record of everything you do and buy can be data crunched. This information is valuable because it can be used to sell you more stuff, and who knows what else. Don't willingly give up this information, use cash for as many transactions as possible. Crypto-currencies are another option to be more anonymous and are growing in popularity. These can be volatile in value and should be used carefully and responsibly. Investing in tangible assets that maintain a fairly stable value like land, tools, and precious metals is also an option to be considered.
A few small changes in daily life could make some major changes in our reality if enough people start working together. It may seem like an impossible task but the movement is growing. More and more people are exploring sustainable life-styles, learning and teaching others. We must slowly ween ourselves off of this parasitic system that has been created for us. The only way to have a positive future is to take responsibility for our own lives and lead by example for those around us.
If you have any questions or something to add please comment! Thank you for reading.