Comfortable in My Pool of Hypocrisy

I know. Having a pool is hardly illustrative of a sustainable lifestyle, right? As well as the power used for filtration, and chemical treatments, the pool does use water. And the land would have far more utility as a vegetable garden.

I’m not pretending to live an exemplary lifestyle. I’m not perfect, but the choices I make are conscious. Some of them make me feel uncomfortable, or downright guilty.

On the other hand we are enjoying the outdoors, together as a family. The kids are playing together and getting some exercise. And we’ve had our resort-like holiday without flights or trips to the beach (though we could be biking to the river … ). The pool isn’t heated, and I err on the low side in using chemicals (while keeping the water healthy).

Having a pool (and 4 resource-sucking children, 2 fossil-fuel depleting vehicles and numerous other crimes against the planet) does not stop me wanting to do better. It certainly does not stop me from making positive changes.

Focusing on what needs to be done to save the planet and the consequences of failure can take you to a dark, negative place.

Carrying the future of the planet around on your shoulders is a heavy burden. Instead, I choose to focus on some positive steps I can take, even if they’re small.

I saw a quote from Helen Keller in Niki Harré’s book ‘Psychology for a Better World: Working with People to Save the Planet’ which grabbed me.

“I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble … The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”

It won’t stop me from shoving where I think I can, but I’m happy to do my bit, and encourage everyone to push a little alongside me.

By the way, the Niki Harré book is a great read for anyone interested in advocating, lobbying, working or activism for a better planet, as is her book ‘The Infinite Game: How to Live Well Together’ which I wrote about last year.

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