I wish I could say that I’ve always been environmentally conscious, but that simply wouldn’t be true. It has only been in the last 2-3 years or so that I’ve truly become aware of environmental issues and the urgency that we are facing regarding the health of our planet. These days my green consciousness constantly colors the way I look at and operate in the world. Whether it’s recycling, conserving water, bringing my own coffee mug to the coffee shop, lugging around my stainless steel water bottle or opting for vintage clothing; I try to do whatever I can on an individual level to help out. Even in this short period of time, these behaviors have become so ingrained that I hardly notice them anymore.
I find that my green awakening coincided with a general waking up that happened in my life a couple of years ago. Since the age of 14, I had been in the music business, originally a child/teenage star in my native Finland. Unfortunately, having worked from such a young age, I never really had the opportunity to grow up and think for myself, and thus ended up being led and controlled by others. This, I believe, is very common amongst child stars, and also the reason why they so often end up troubled. We all know some examples of this. Having gone through it myself, I have come to the conclusion that it is our human responsibility to grow up and learn to think for ourselves.
I think what happened to me on an extreme level happens to most of us on a larger scale. We are being molded by our cultures, by the media, by our peers and our schools to think alike, to be alike and to live our lives in the ‘correct’ manner. But living mindlessly as a consumer will prevent us from ever truly seeing the insanity and injustice that surrounds us, including what’s going on with the climate and the nature. Instead, waking up in our own lives, understanding and getting to know ourselves will inevitably lead to a stronger connection with the Earth and all the beauty it holds. If we don’t understand ourselves, how are we ever to understand anything else that goes on around us, much less do anything meaningful about it.
Becoming conscious and aware is a slow process and I am only in the very beginning of it–this is a lifelong journey. I believe that for the world to truly wake up on green issues, the awakening first needs to happen on an individual level. In my own experience I have found that once I woke up in one area, I have constantly been waking up in others: whether it’s the environment, social injustice, politics, race and gender equality. It is all connected. Through many errors, I have come to see that nothing worth mastering can be mastered immediately, and no meaningful change can happen overnight. So, this is my take on it: it ain’t easy being green, but it does get easier, as one creates green habit after another. It’s about taking small steps every day.
Guest blog post by our friend Janita, a musician and ethical consumer. We met her at a Shop Your Values Week networking event and she is wholeheartedly focused on making as positive an impact on the world as possible, both through her music and her everyday choices.
“On the heels of her most commercially successful release to date, Janita returns with her highly anticipated new album, Haunted. The latest in an already acclaimed discography, Haunted is helmed by an artist with the courage and determination to evolve–not only out of artistic desire, but personal necessity.”