We Need to Welcome a New Normal

Day 186 – “I can’t wait until we get back to normal.”

This sentence has been spoken by many of us this past year. We all want the pandemic behind us and be able to move on. Unfortunately, going back to normal will not work. “Normal” has not been working. Real change needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

Mahira Kalim wrote in an article for B the Change that there are a number of challenges that face us today.

  • Our resource consumption is abnormal. At the current consumption rate, by 2050 we will use Earth’s resources three times faster than can be regenerated. Scientists suggest that we have roughly eight to 10 years to save the planet by slowing global warming, but our actions in the next 12–18 months are critical in sealing the planet’s fate.
  • Our measures of growth and success are askew. Gross domestic product (GDP), a commonly used measure of economic growth and success for nations, does not account for the cost to create monetary wealth, wellness of its people, or damage to the planet.
  • Recycling is a myth. Less than 9% of the 800 billion tonnes of plastic has ever been recycled. Most of it gets incinerated, resulting in further air pollution and an increased risk of respiratory conditions, or it ends up in the oceans where it breaks down into micro and nanoparticles and lives on for hundreds of years.

The pandemic forced us all to slow down. It made us realize what was important and what we could do without. It would be easy to go right back to the hustle and bustle and forget the lessons learned from this experience. However, if we don’t learn, we are destined to repeat the same mistakes.

“Our best hope for a livable future is to embrace sustainability on a massive scale. To achieve this, we don’t need a handful of people achieving sustainability perfection. We need MILLIONS of people making concrete, positive changes to the best of their ability, even if they do so imperfectly.”Rainforest Alliance

Everyday we are reminded that the environment is in need of help. Wildfires, extreme heat and weather conditions are an indication that change needs to happen, now. The new normal involves making a real effort to reverse the current trends. It starts with small steps. As long as those steps are in the right direction, we will reach our main goal of saving the planet.

Tomorrow, covering those summer cuts and scrapes with a non-plastic bandage.

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