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Guilt

 
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I'm sure I can't be the only one who suffers from guilt surrounding the use of materials and chemicals that are not exactly "good" for the environment. And I don't just mean those used in the process of homesteading, gardening, etc.

It seems like just being alive in the modern world contributes to the destruction of the environment. For instance, just using a computer to post this means I have contributed to the use of fossil fuels and the pollution from the byproducts used to manufacture and power it, possibly child and/or slave labor (or something very close) to make it. Then there's the styrofoam it was packaged in. The plastic it was wrapped in. The truck it was shipped in.....

I am plagued by the guilt.

How do you cope with guilt and what resources can you recommend for learning about and finding environmentally friendly alternatives when there even are alternatives?
 
pollinator
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Sam Benson wrote:I'm sure I can't be the only one who suffers from guilt surrounding the use of materials and chemicals that are not exactly "good" for the environment. And I don't just mean those used in the process of homesteading, gardening, etc.

It seems like just being alive in the modern world contributes to the destruction of the environment. For instance, just using a computer to post this means I have contributed to the use of fossil fuels and the pollution from the byproducts used to manufacture and power it, possibly child and/or slave labor (or something very close) to make it. Then there's the styrofoam it was packaged in. The plastic it was wrapped in. The truck it was shipped in.....

I am plagued by the guilt.

How do you cope with guilt and what resources can you recommend for learning about and finding environmentally friendly alternatives when there even are alternatives?



If you are doing the best you can, what do you have to feel guilty for?  Living?  I can tell you how I personally deal with guilt.  I do the best I can with the circumstance I'm in so that I don't feel guilty.  Living in a way that is good for the world isn't a binary equation.  It's a matter of degree.  My advice is, do the best you can and don't worry about all the things you can't control.
 
Sam Benson
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But I'm not doing the best I can. I don't think very many of us are. Even if we're doing better than most, we still could do better. We might only be contributing to the destruction in tiny ways. We tell ourselves it's okay because everyone is doing it. But we're destroying the planet. It's a death by a thousand cuts. And it's not just the planet that suffers. It's all the other creatures that live here.

What I'm saying is that I'm having a hard time shrugging it all off. Struggling to not "sweat the small stuff". I need more than just to be told "do the best you can". I need to know HOW to do the best I can, while not losing my mind. And how to deal with the guilt for the things I could be doing better with, but don't.
 
Sam Benson
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I do appreciate the response though. I'm just frustrated.
 
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With a few more chemicals and gadgets, we may finally outsmart God. We are farther from the Garden than ever!
 
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I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but obsessive guilt can limit your potential health, success, and contributions. It can feel like the alternative is giving in, not caring, or blythely contributing to the problem, but that is not so! Take a permaculture angle. step back, see the whole picture, identify structural issues, identify cycles and energy gradients, identify promising new technologies and reappropriated old ones. Then plan your calendar and dig in. Don't despair because the work is too big, it changes every year so we can't really know that, and you have a whole planet full of teammates. Also make sure you get enough vitamin dirt on your feet, or snow on your boots, and enough vitamin outside in nature. And avoid coffee and energy drinks and too much blinkbox at night. Hoard your melatonin and evade the dopamine-baited serotonin thieves. The Chinese call it false fire. Feels like it is rekindling your fire but it is actually tearing your house down piece by piece to do so.
 
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Sam Benson wrote: I'm not doing the best I can. I don't think very many of us are. Even if we're doing better than most, we still could do better.



Wise quote: Go as far as you can, from there you can see farther.
Another one: Guilt is lack of living up to what you know you should do.

My take on it: I do everything I can, and use the knowledge I gain to raise myself up a bit more each time.
I do nothing because others do it. I do things because it's what I can change today. What they do is THEIR problem.

Making new habits and a new life is a step by step, day by day process, and the guilt you feel is the push you need to keep you going in the right direction.

How to do it? Every week or so, change one thing, make it habit, work it into your routine, add it to what you are already doing. When you have it integrated into your life, chnage another thing. You build upon what you have already done. What things you change depend on your situation, what's important or easy for me is not what's important or easy for you. When you think up what the next easy thing to do is, look it up here on permies or on the net, see how others have done it.

We could make lists for you, but what needs changing in your life isn't what I need to change. or what anyone else does. Only you can answer that. Pick one thing that you think you can change, and do it. No excuses. It gets easier as you build up your willpower muscles. the first ones will be hardest, change easy stuff first.

I don't have guilt pushing me, I have my ideal of myself pulling me. Might be a mindshift to consider. Either one will help you get where you want to be.
 
Pearl Sutton
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One more thought. Surround yourself with positive people who are going the same direction as you want to go.  People who put effort into making you feel guilty are NOT your friends.

Permies is full of positive people going in good directions. This is a good place to learn how to do things that will improve your life without adding negative baggage to you. No one needs more negative added, but a lot of people make a lot of money by doing exactly that.

If I had to pick ONE thing you can do RIGHT NOW to improve your life, not knowing your situation at all, it would be to quit all intake of any kind of negative messaging. Watch no video where anyone screams, or tells you why you are failing. Read nothing that blames you for anything. It will be difficult, most of the stuff out there is full of negative emotional content. You won't miss anything by not having your brain marinated in that, and that will give you more time to learn positive ways to change.

:D
 
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Two things:

You (and all of us) have actually been manipulated to feel that guilt on a large scale.  Ultimately, big polluting mega companies figured out it was cheaper to manipulate us into feeling guilty and blaming each other than it was for said companies to clean up their act.  "The New Climate War" is worth a read/listen.  It's all about how we're actually making pretty good progress, not enough but still good, but we're being manipulated into feeling doomed.

2 -. Do your best.  When you know better, do better.
 
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Maybe this will help or maybe not; I am not sure because I REALLY struggle with guilt, perhaps to the point of being a character flaw. But for me, I know where it came from: my upbringing.

I grew up in a very abusive home, and no matter what I did, it was never good enough. Add in a grandfather who was always tired and there was a good chance I was going to get beat when he got home from school for no other reason than he was frustrated. Naturally he needed a reason, and some perceived thing I did was that reason. Even today I am extremely hard on myself, perhaps thinking that in this weird hamster wheel, if I just work 120% at everything I do, everything will be okay, when no one can be that hard working and perfect that often. Still, no one is more disappointed in me then myself, and that is a tough place to always be.

Hopefully this does not ring true with you, or many people on here, but if it does, maybe understanding that how you grew up has a bearing on your guilty feelings?

As for environmental guilt specifically, I am actually in a good place. My last job, and current job are in renewable energy for the grid. My own powerhouse right now is churning out electricity for the grid, as well as my friends/former co-workers in my previous job and it is 2:08 AM here. Both places do this on a 24/7/ basis, so while I do have impact on the earth, I am helping to make it less of an impact. It is a thankless job, but it does matter and people die during black-outs. At least a portion of my hard work ensures renewable energy is available to them.

Maybe you can find a similar career; one where you do make a positive impact?
 
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Kris Winter wrote:I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but obsessive guilt can limit your potential health, success, and contributions. It can feel like the alternative is giving in, not caring, or blythely contributing to the problem, but that is not so! Take a permaculture angle. step back, see the whole picture, identify structural issues, identify cycles and energy gradients, identify promising new technologies and reappropriated old ones. Then plan your calendar and dig in. Don't despair because the work is too big, it changes every year so we can't really know that, and you have a whole planet full of teammates. Also make sure you get enough vitamin dirt on your feet, or snow on your boots, and enough vitamin outside in nature. And avoid coffee and energy drinks and too much blinkbox at night. Hoard your melatonin and evade the dopamine-baited serotonin thieves. The Chinese call it false fire. Feels like it is rekindling your fire but it is actually tearing your house down piece by piece to do so.



This is my take as well.
Unfortunately thinking about our impact is not distributed evenly in the population. There are so many people that are very selfish, ignorant and oblivious that all their actions have consequences. And then there are people like most here on permies - certainly Sam here - who cannot stop thinking about the trail we leave behind with our normal living.
So for me it is also to look both for moments of happiness and a starting point to feel self-empowerment. For me this is the voluntary work in our local chapter of the biggest conservationist organization of my corner of the world. I feel happy about every toad we save from ending as road kill and every little meadow we keep in function for the wildlife. This covers the point of surround yourself with like-minded people.

Taking my camera and documenting all the beauty is also very healing.
 
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For me, I find I can make the biggest positive impact when I'm thinking clearly from a big picture view and have taken time to really assess what I have control over and the trade-offs I am willing to make.

I don't expect to be perfect. The current global consumerist society makes it ridiculously hard to even approach perfection.

I've chosen to try to grow a long-term responsible mindset in myself, my family, and my community. Mistakes or bad choices will happen, but they can be learning experiences and be turned towards good in the long-term.

Some choices I have made include:
Clean up my surroundings and remove pollution as much as possible.
Decrease my use of polluting materials gradually and continuously.
Use fewer and fewer non-renewable resources over time.
Improve my ability to cook with seasonal ingredients.
Improve my ability to grow and process food that is available seasonally or from my garden.
Prefer hand tools over power tools, including transportation.
Learn more.
Edit to include: Make a point of talking about these issues.

In my case none of these are hard binaries. There is no "never" for me. It's about tendencies and preferences and direction and a growth and improvement mindset.

Is this good enough? I don't know, but it's what I'm capable of doing consistently without falling into depression and hopelessness. So yes I think it's as good as it's going to get for me right now.
 
Pearl Sutton
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From 7 Habits of Effective People by Stephen R Covey, a VERY worthwhile book to read.

Circle-of-concern.jpg
From 7 Habits of Effective People by Stephen R Covey
From 7 Habits of Effective People by Stephen R Covey
 
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Guilt is not a helpful emotion except for how it guides us forwards.  So do not feel guilty for things you have already done (e.g. buying the computer).  Every day is a new start and you go forward from the point at which you find yourself.

No-one can be perfect.  Arguably, no-one needs to be perfect.  The planet can probably cope with a certain level of damaging behaviour, although we don't know how much.   So it is pointless feeling constantly that you need to be "doing more", or you will never find peace.

You can do great good by making small changes and advocating those changes to others.  Others won't find those changes attractive if you appear to be being made miserable by doing them, or present them as being merely a small step on a treadmill to more and more self-deprivation.
 
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I read something in a fiction book that I hope will help you feel better as well. Paraphrasing here:

Don't feel sad about what you can't do, be happy about what you can. The ocean may need baling out, but be glad about the bucket that you have saved.

Whatever you can do is worthwhile.
 
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Here's an angle no one mentioned yet...
Keep in mind the amount of environmental destruction the "power structure" is responsible for vs. individuals. From suppressing alternative energy and vehicles to subsidizing poisonous farming methods.
And the most damaging: Geoengineering via bunker fuels deployed by ships and God only knows what from planes.
We can fine tune our lives all day...and it won't even make a dent if the above atrocities are ignored and allowed continue.
 
Ted Abbey
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Emileah Anderson wrote:Here's an angle no one mentioned yet...
Keep in mind the amount of environmental destruction the "power structure" is responsible for vs. individuals. From suppressing alternative energy and vehicles to subsidizing poisonous farming methods.
And the most damaging: Geoengineering via bunker fuels deployed by ships and God only knows what from planes.
We can fine tune our lives all day...and it won't even make a dent if the above atrocities are ignored and allowed continue.



The sad truth is that the powers that be commit these atrocities in collusion and cooperation with our representative governments, thereby making us guilty by complicity. There are no easy answers in this realm of thought, and only spiritual and philosophical meditations leading to right action can mitigate what should be a soul crushing sense of guilt. It’s either that or a complete disconnection from reality, a nearly mindless existence, and/or embracing lies as truth..
 
Nancy Reading
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I believe there is no point being guilty for the rest of humanity or 'angry with the bad guys'!
If you haven't read it yet then I recommend Building a Better World in Your Backyard - Instead of being angry at bad guys Paul's book is all about little (and bigger) things we can do as individuals. Positive thinking is much healthier!
 
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Nancy Reading wrote:I believe there is no point being guilty for the rest of humanity or 'angry with the bad guys'!
If you haven't read it yet then I recommend Building a Better World in Your Backyard - Instead of being angry at bad guys Paul's book is all about little (and bigger) things we can do as individuals. Positive thinking is much healthier!



I agree the is no point feeling guilty or 'angry with the bad guys".

Live your life the way that is best suited for you.

Guilt is a negative emotion.  Be positive!

These books might help:

My favorite is "The Power of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale.

His wife, Ruth Stafford Peale also wrote a book "The Adventure of Being a Wife" based on her and her husband's philosophy of positive thinking.

Another author, Napoleon Hill wrote "Think and Grow Rich", a book that is credited to have influenced more people into success than anyone in history.

For folks who are having problems achieving success with positive thinking, I would recommend the books by Dr. Wayne Dyer.  My favorite is "Your Erroneous Zones" and "Pulling your own Strings"

His website which I just found has a "Daily Inspiration":

https://www.drwaynedyer.com/



https://permies.com/t/208014/Enjoy
 
Ted Abbey
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Thank you Nancy and Anne! While I agree that we shouldn’t accept guilt for acts that we are not personally responsible for, and that positive thought and action are not only more beneficial, but also more desirable.. I also believe that a humble awareness and acceptance of things as they are allows for perspective. “Anger at the bad guys” is the proper emotional response to the evil acts of pollution, poisoning, wealth extraction and hoarding, altering genetics, etc. What we do with that emotion is where the difference lies. Do we seethe, spiral, and lash out in ways that are ineffective and ultimately detrimental to ourselves and others? Or do we transform this as fuel for the fire of our passion to be the counterbalance to the negativity and destruction?

And thanks for the recommended reading!
 
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Sam B. wrote:I am plagued by the guilt.


I would say that feeling guilty and being guilty are distinct issues to unpack.  

I did a quick Google search to define guilt.  From their "Oxford Languages" source, that yielded...

"the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime."



Something that stands out to me, is that guilt is a fact and is an offense or crime.  

Now a fact is a statement that is always true.  And a crime is an offense against a specific standard or standards, a law or set of rules if you will.  It is the realm of justice, applying to certain people.  What is permissible and acceptable for one group of people or citizens perhaps, under one set of rules and rule-makers, is not necessarily permissible for another group under another set of laws and law-givers.  All laws and rules are not arbitrary, but rather they come from or represent the will of law-givers and rule-makers.  

But there are good laws and bad laws, good law makers and bad law makers.  
Not all laws and law-givers are just, and not all accusations are true.  

So I would ask you (rhetorically):

1) Who wrote or brought forth the rules or standards that define your guilt (or innocence)?  Under what authority?
2) Are you voluntarily under their jurisdiction, and are you free to leave at will?
3) Are these laws and rules clear?  Are you equipped to follow them?
4) Who accuses you?  Is their judgement against you not only true, but is it also just and good?
5) Will guilt actually bring about a change to goodness, or is it fruitless shame?  
6) Who has the authority to erase your guilt and therefore establish justice?  Under what terms?


P.s. As for me, it is my sincere hope for you (and everyone here) to enjoy freedom, under that just and gracious law-giver, who does not wish to accuse you or bring up worthless charges against you, but rather serves as one who gives you good laws and empowers you with the knowledge and tools you need to abide.  
 
Sam Benson
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Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses. You've given me a lot to think about and resources to use. Exactly what I was hoping for! This is an impressive group of people and I'm glad I found this site to connect with all of you.

I have struggled with this issue since I can remember. I can't really pinpoint the root cause. Maybe the movie Ferngully? Captain Planet? (half-joking). It's so severe that I didn't apply for my first credit card until I was in my late 20s because I felt guilty about the plastic that would be generated to make the card. I think since I was a boy I've just had this fantasy about what the world could be like if everyone cared. But the reality is very different, and here I am still coming to terms with it, I guess. I suppose I'd be considered a hippie by some. I'd probably be a full blown hippie except that love always seemed to bring me pain, so I developed a lot of hate when I was younger, and it wasn't just directed outward. I've made a conscious effort to reverse that trend over time and I've made a lot of progress, but I still have work to do. I'm sure it's a lifelong struggle for everyone, really. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. I spent every other week of my life for 15 years living a different life. Dad lived in the country, mom in the city. Dad was a hunter, mom was not. Dad was wasteful, mom was conservative. I was raised as two different people. I have a lot of inner conflict as a result. Oh, and I was raised catholic, so I'm sure that didn't help much with my sense of guilt. My interests and desires almost always conflict with my morals and principles. I so badly want to fly airplanes, but I feel guilty about the pollution. I love to shoot guns, but I feel guilty about the process of mining the material to make the bullets. I could go on and on about this, but it's probably irrelevant here. All I know is that I'm thankful that you've been able to give me a little guidance in how to approach my feelings of guilt in a more healthy and positive way, so thank you! And also, if you did read this, thank you for allowing me to be your therapy patient for a few minutes. It really helps just to talk about this stuff.
 
Ted Abbey
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Sam Benson wrote:Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses. You've given me a lot to think about and resources to use. Exactly what I was hoping for! This is an impressive group of people and I'm glad I found this site to connect with all of you.

I have struggled with this issue since I can remember. I can't really pinpoint the root cause. Maybe the movie Ferngully? Captain Planet? (half-joking). It's so severe that I didn't apply for my first credit card until I was in my late 20s because I felt guilty about the plastic that would be generated to make the card. I think since I was a boy I've just had this fantasy about what the world could be like if everyone cared. But the reality is very different, and here I am still coming to terms with it, I guess. I suppose I'd be considered a hippie by some. I'd probably be a full blown hippie except that love always seemed to bring me pain, so I developed a lot of hate when I was younger, and it wasn't just directed outward. I've made a conscious effort to reverse that trend over time and I've made a lot of progress, but I still have work to do. I'm sure it's a lifelong struggle for everyone, really. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. I spent every other week of my life for 15 years living a different life. Dad lived in the country, mom in the city. Dad was a hunter, mom was not. Dad was wasteful, mom was conservative. I was raised as two different people. I have a lot of inner conflict as a result. Oh, and I was raised catholic, so I'm sure that didn't help much with my sense of guilt. My interests and desires almost always conflict with my morals and principles. I so badly want to fly airplanes, but I feel guilty about the pollution. I love to shoot guns, but I feel guilty about the process of mining the material to make the bullets. I could go on and on about this, but it's probably irrelevant here. All I know is that I'm thankful that you've been able to give me a little guidance in how to approach my feelings of guilt in a more healthy and positive way, so thank you! And also, if you did read this, thank you for allowing me to be your therapy patient for a few minutes. It really helps just to talk about this stuff.



Sam,

    Be thankful that you are conscious and aware. The fact that you are analyzing the issue, and open to transformation should give you great hope. This simple prayer may help..

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

The message it conveys is simple and potent, regardless of your spiritual beliefs. Best wishes always..

 
Anne Miller
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Ted Abbey wrote: What we do with that emotion is where the difference lies. Do we seethe, spiral, and lash out in ways that are ineffective and ultimately detrimental to ourselves and others? Or do we transform this as fuel for the fire of our passion to be the counterbalance to the negativity and destruction?



I agree with this.

In my small way, I try to spread permaculture where ever I can which is mostly here on the forum.

I try to help folks learn about the good things that make our world great.

One of my favorite things is learning how to make soil great for plants.

I am learning about mushrooms because I feel they are one of the key ingredients to making great soil along with wood chips and compost.

And I am learning about rocket mass heaters aka RMH because I feel they are something our future needs.

Plant trees and burn less wood.
 
Anne Miller
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Ted Abbey wrote: Be thankful that you are conscious and aware. The fact that you are analyzing the issue, and open to transformation should give you great hope. This simple prayer may help..

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

The message it conveys is simple and potent, regardless of your spiritual beliefs. Best wishes always..



Thanks for the memory.  

While dear hubby was in the service before we married, out of the blue his mother came by the house one day to bring me a special gift.

It was a charm to go on my charm bracelet with that quote.

This simple quote is to remind me to accept the things I cannot change.

Then have the courage to change the things I can. and the wisdom to know the difference.
 
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I can say you’re definitely not the only one. I struggle with this as well. The current societal structure in most of Europe and North America isn’t set up in a Permaculture way. I have to drive if I want to see people. I use a smart phone and laptop to take care of finances and keep in touch with people. I do it not because of who I am as a person, but because this is the society I live in. If my husband, children, and in-laws we care for would agree, I’d love to join a Permaculture village. Since that’s not going to happen, I continue to drive and use technology. I buy dishwasher and clothes detergents from a semi-local mom owned company who makes environmentally friendlier products. I buy bar soap and bar shampoo with no packaging from another fairly local company. I will continue to work toward producing more, wasting less, and maybe even building community around me. I don’t think we should feel guilty for existing. We should do our best to do good and be kind to others. Guilt won’t help us with that.
 
pollinator
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For me it was a gradual process. Going shampoo-less and putting the Guinea Pig on wood shaving was an easy first step. I grew up in a “50 year” drought in western USA so the catch bucket in tub was easy, which watered house plants, which led to adding outside plants.. These steps led to no chemical cleaners, bucket in sink and gentle outside piling of GP bedding. House plants made it easy to add growing greens in the windows to feed me & GP, and which also cooled the apartment. The few outside pots of flowers led to growing strawberrys & tomatoes with the neighbors, which led to being outside & picking up trash, which gave me credibility to gently introduce neighbors to permaculture type ideas, like planting for bees and not using harsh chemicals. Then I started to re-sort the recycle bins, which saved the apt complex from fines, which gave me credibility with the manager. This was a slow adding of each step. It would have overwhelming to add/do all at once. 4 years living here and I’m accidentally building a community. And my neighbors don’t realize that they are infected with more earth-centered ideas. (BwaHaaHaa she laughes) even the very set-in-his-gick-ways manager is seeing how much happier/beautiful our end of the complex looks. Each step gently opens up another little way I can make things better.
 
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Arthur Ashe said "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." There is no praise there. There is no blame there. There is only a goal and the next step toward it. While I do personally still avoid blame and crave praise, I am taking steps to free myself from both even as I try to free myself from plastic. I think this is as much the point as anything else. Freeing myself from the pollution within while i free myself from the pollution without.
 
Anne Miller
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Maybe setting goals to become a better person would help with the guilt.

Set a goal to accomplish "x' by a certain date.

I would not feel guilty of necessary evils.
 
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Sam Benson wrote:But I'm not doing the best I can. I don't think very many of us are. Even if we're doing better than most, we still could do better. We might only be contributing to the destruction in tiny ways. We tell ourselves it's okay because everyone is doing it. But we're destroying the planet. It's a death by a thousand cuts. And it's not just the planet that suffers. It's all the other creatures that live here.

What I'm saying is that I'm having a hard time shrugging it all off. Struggling to not "sweat the small stuff". I need more than just to be told "do the best you can". I need to know HOW to do the best I can, while not losing my mind. And how to deal with the guilt for the things I could be doing better with, but don't.



I really, really empathize. It makes me feel better to learn as much as possible and share whenever I can. It is death by a thousand paeprcuts, but I still think knowledge can make a difference. And, if you're fortunate enough to own some property, sink all the carbon you can afford to!  That's my plan, at least... One day? Lol
 
pollinator
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I haven't read everything. But for me, letting go of guilt is the result of many little changes over several years.

- I do a carbon footprint audit of my family every year. It makes it easier to see where we can have the most impact (food and transportation for us) and where there are only diminishing returns or even a worst impact (like driving several miles to go to a zero-waste bulk shop, or renovating a perfectly serviceable dated kitchen to get a "green" one)

I aim for 25-50% reduction of my impact on most things. Getting at least 50% of my clothes used. Eating at least 50% of a sustainable plant-based diet. Using my electronics 100% longer than the average user or getting it refurbished. Getting at least a second use of anything "disposable".  

If everyone on the planet makes an overall 20-30% decrease in everything unsustainable, industry will be forced to change (just like crude oil prices fell to nearly zero when everyone stopped commuting at the beginning of the pandemic). Industry depends on us, ultimately, to buy what it produces. Humans are its only clients. And it doesn't take all that much to hurt it..


Some steps are harder to take. For instance, using public transportation to commute to work is awful for me. So I aim for 10% there for now. It's a start and it feels mamageable. And maybe I'll figure out a better way and it will be easier. Or maybe I'll make up for it elsewhere.

And some things, like mending clothes or baking bread, serve more as rituals to stay connected to my values.

I probably saved more resources in a single business trip where I chose to take the train instead of an airplane than all my year's worth of tiny ritual efforts. But those remind me of who I am and give me a sense of place on a daily basis.

Oh, and community building is essential. Talking with the farmers who feed us. Sharing tools with neighbours. Giving out homecooked meals to families who are going through hard times. This helps me see what humans can be when they remember who they are.
 
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I'll offer my opinion. Please remember that you asked for it.

The impact of the decisions of the few people who control massive systems, coupled with the impact of the activities of the other 8 billion people on the planet, means that your actions don't matter. What you do or don't do doesn't even rise to the level of a rounding error.

Step 1: Get over yourself, and get on with living your best life.

Step 2: Review your diet for its possible biochemical impacts on your psyche.

 
gardener
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My grandpa always said his goal was to put back a little more than you take.  
 
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Christopher Shepherd wrote:My grandpa always said his goal was to put back a little more than you take.  


Christopher, I think your grandfather's quote pretty much says it all, the other thing to remember is that change starts with the individual. Becoming apathetic because many other people aren't doing the right thing is not an excuse for following the herd. It's my impression that this entire conglomeration of forums is about people trying to do the right thing for this planet regardless of what others might do.
Sam, the so-called guilt can be looked at as merely a reminder to keep making course adjustment regarding our perceived responsibilities to planet Earth.
 
The only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you. Or this tiny ad:
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