5 Lifestyle Habits Only Free People Can Follow

May 18, 2017

|Maria Isabel Carrasco

When was the last time you stopped and looked up to the skies? How many blue hues can you name and how many white clouds streaking the horizon have you counted? How many shining stars glimmer through the inky skies? 
Can you imagine your world turning gray and never again having the opportunity to lose yourself to the beauty of nature? Well, this apocalyptic scenario is not far from happening. In 2015, Chinese TV newscaster Chai Jing made a documentary called 
Under the Dome in which she exposed the consequences of pollution in Chinese cities.

This project was so controversial it was banned in China and it makes you wonder why it was so reviled. As you see the murky fog covering the cityscape, the reason is crystal clear: it shows our heartbreaking reality. Through a series of interviews with children, she asks them if they've ever seen a real star, and the answer, of course, is devastating. In these overpopulated cities with no environmental regulations, the landscape people see every day is gray skies and endless skyscrapers.

Younger generations spend most of the day indoors rather than enjoy what nature has to offer. Concrete and iron are like epidemics that claim what little green areas cities have left. Due to our selfish ways, we are leading a bleak and gray life that is lived comfortably inside four walls. An imprisoned life the more you think about it. 

In an interview with Nobel Prize winner Rajendra K. Pachauri Ph.D. we discussed the fast decay the planet has experienced in the last few decades. For instance, many species that once flourished in the wilds and were revered in certain cultures are now facing extinction. As Pachauri laments, “as a child I used to see tigers in the wild, and now, there are very few tigers left in India because we’ve taken over their habitat. We have taken over their home and poaching has made the situation even worse, so many tigers have been killed.” 
Rhinoceros, tortoises, dolphins, birds of paradise, and the list goes on. Many species quietly fade into nothingness as we continue with our selfish way of life. 

lifestyle habits Rajendra K Pachauri nature-w636-h600

We’ve become such self-centered beings that we’ve gradually lost connection with our planet and every living creature. There are many who still think climate change is an invention or that only highly polluting industries are to blame for this damage. 

Actually, there are many "harmless" things we do on a daily basis that actually have a huge impact on the Earth's condition. We tend to take the environment for granted, but if we continue on this path of passive destruction, we’ll end up unable to have a good quality of life. Can you live with that? We all want to live a life free of remorse, which is why Dr Pachauri gives you five, life changing actions you can incorporate into your life so you can truly become a free soul. 

1. Meditate on your real footprints 

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"[We have to] understand what we are doing in terms of the carbon footprint."

We take many things for granted and we allow to be blinded by our own needs. For instance, have you ever wonder what impact your daily activities have on the environment? Where does your garbage go? How are the products you use made and where do they go when you toss them away? You have to realize and reflect on all the consequences of your actions.

2. Change your eating habits

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eople will tell you ‘how do you get protein unless you eat meat?’ Plants give you a lot of proteins."

Pachauri himself is an avid vegetarian, and while he doesn't try to convince everyone to become vegetarian, he believes we should all decrease our meat consumption. "The average American consumes 271 pounds of meat every tear and as you know, the meat cycle is very intensive." When confronted by people who believe vegetarianism is unnatural, Pachauri turns to the animal kingdom. "I give people these examples, look at the elephant, does this giant eat meat? No, he's a vegetarian. Look at the horse, he's vegetarian as well.  If you still don’t believe me then I’ll introduce you to a guy called the gorilla, does he eat meat?" It is by turning to our cousins that we realize how far we've deviated from our natural path. 

3. Change the way you move

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"Why don’t we walk more? Why don’t we use bicycles?"
We are so used to hopping into car and driving to a convenience store that is just a few blocks away that we lose sight of the impact. Pachauri suggests you change the way you move around, bicycle tracks are becoming more common in many cities, so it is a matter of hopping into a bike and cycling to a better future. 

4. Be more conscious about your use of energy

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"Go for cleaner energy and support renewables."
Do you leave the heating on in your house even though you're away at work or school? How many times have you left the light on? Turn this switch and really pay attention to how you use energy. Look for alternatives and it will be those small actions that have an impact. 

5. Get involved with your local governments to demand change

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"We need the youth of the world. We need to inform them about climate change and all its implications."

"Hopelessness" is a word many would use to describe how they feel about the current conditions, but if you drag yourself from this inaction, you'll see how many things are yet to be done. To see change you must first demand it, approach your local government and be unafraid to confront your representatives. If you have ideas and projects, don't keep them to yourself, a small idea can spark great changes and make people aware of what we're facing. 

"You saw the beauty, the power, the glory of nature. And that I think became part of my spirit, became part of my way of thinking."

For Dr. Pachauri, the most important thing we can do, besides these 5 steps, is to educate younger generations. For this reason, he started the POP (Protect Our Planet) movement, which intends to educate people about the damages we're causing to the environment and promote actions to change our habits. His movement wants to "mobilize the youth of the world."

Maria Isabel Carrasco

Maria Isabel Carrasco