Being located in Barcelona and seeing the celebration resulting from the Europe Champions League I found myself reflecting on this:
How can football, pure entertainment where people shout, discharges adrenaline, feels connected to a team, which can give some purpose and meaning to their lives through the unconditional support to a team represent such an important part of the daily Barcelona citizens life and looking after our surroundings don’t?

Is sustainable living a question of priorities? And if so, how do we build our priorities? Why some people do care about the environment and try their best trying to engage on a sustainable lifestyle and others don’t? The answers to these questions may entail some metaphysics and deep philosophy but I invite you to share any insights on them.
My first insights sharing this conversation with my friends are:

  • Ignorance and fear are the biggest barriers in human being development. People don’t know about the consequences of their acts, about the origins of the stuff they are buying and the saddest part, most of the time they don’t want to know because they will probably feel bad and will feel the need to change.
  • If there is a feeling of need to change, there is the need to go out from the comfort zone. Not everyone wants to go out from the comfort zone. Bubbles are cozy.
  • People have got loads of problems, fears and stuff going on which prevent them from looking at the bigger picture.

But… if people find the way to spend two hours a week watching a football match (or equivalent entertaining activities)…why don’t they find time for taking care of their surroundings two hours a week? We get immediate pleasure from entertainment but don’t we feel also pleasure helping others, doing some good? Why do associate doing some good or volunteering to boring stuff? Is it a question of Marketing?
Thanks to the spread of information through the internet and a higher level of education and global knowledge, people tend to be more aware of what we are eating, where do the clothes we are buying come from, how to pursue a sustainable living… It is a clear minority of the world but it is definitely growing. Is only information and awareness the key towards the change? Is it enough?

I don’t think it is enough, I have got loads of information and I still buy clothes from well-known brands which probably are exploiting kids in order to produce the clothes I am buying. I am trying to get as close as possible to a sustainable living, but I am so far away from getting there: food, transportation, clothes, phone, furniture… Every day we are making loads of decisions and we tend to miss the sustainable living path.

If information is not enough, which steps do we need in order to reach a sustainable living? We definitely need to digest all the information and take some action on it. My conclusion is:

  1. Being aware of the situation in a deep way, we need to reach levels of contemplation and meditation in our daily lives in order to separate between sustainable lifestyle and the routines which we have acquired from our education, our environment, our birthplace…
  2. Once we are aware and we feel the need to change, it is something and here the main barrier appears: we want to change the world and we feel overwhelmed about it. Which is the solution? We start looking for THE SOLUTION, that panacea which will turn the world around. And my conclusion is THE SOLUTION doesn’t exist. MILLIONS OF SOLUTIONS exist. We are going to reach a sustainable living through millions of solutions which go from farming to energy production including reuse, recycling and reduction.
  3. We need to experiment because these millions of solutions will need to be improved and adjusted all around the world. We definitely need to learn and learning loops will be required in order to eventually reach the sustainable living.

The good news are the fact that we are entering a collaborative economy where some people use their free time in order to improve the world, where people need a deeper purpose on life than just increasing the number on their bank accounts and that more and more entrepreneurs are shifting towards social entrepreneurship. Is it natural human being behaviour? If we think about Maslows’s hierarchy of needs, it makes sense: some part of the world may have reached self-actualization thanks to the increase of well-being and technology evolution.
We are millions steps away from sustainable living, but that doesn’t mean sustainable living is impossible. It just means we need to work hard on it and make sustainable living have the same appeal as football nowadays! Help us on it and share some sustainable ideas with your colleagues and think on little changes on our daily lives which can help and share them with us!