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VERSION: - ||-   SPANISH WITH KEY WORDS: -|- << prec| succ>>|15 Ottobre 2007

Blog action day 2007: the environment

Questo articolo l'ho scritto in Inglese per partecipare al Blog action day sull'ambiente tema a cui tengo moltissimo. Mi riprometto di tradurlo quanto prima. Per chi fosse interessato all'iniziativa ecco il link:

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

An article about environment might seem somehow off topic in relation to a blog discussing Spanish and Spanish life but it's not.

Basically I am in Spain after quitting a stable and permanent job. I hopped on the first available aircraft having as destination the other side of the Mediterranean sea. I did it for personal reasons. For the desire to make real a relation that had been virtual for too long, but that's not all.

A step back. One year ago I was still communting 100 kilometers daily to reach my office. We were working remotely on applications for Northern Italian clients. We didn't manufacture, we were writing computer code, no physical contact whatsoever with clients. And yet I had to travel that far every day. Yes, they could have let us work from home (saving time, energy, railroad maintenace costs, office space and a good deal of daily carbon dioxide to the atmosphere) but probably bosses have still to find it acceptable to xerox their documents by themselves.

Consumeristic craze. You do it for an income to be spent, to buy yourself goods you think you couldn't do without. You desperately need them to pay yourself back for your state of modern slave. It's a crazy merry-go-round, a kind of endless loop. It's not easy to realize it up until your still into it. I remember my visits to commercial centers. They are huge traps, thought out and engineered to push people into buying everything. What they need and what they don't. Promotions, special offers, discounts, aggressive and relenting markenting with the sole purpose to convince you that you exist, you are worth something up until you can spend and buy. The merry-go-round cannot stop, not even for a fraction of a second.

We must consume to feel alive, to feel like being part of this craze, that consumeristic orgy which is turning the planet into an immense landfill.

The awakening. Then one day I said when. I woke up and found myself fed up with my trains, my company, my lifestyle and also my visits to commercial centers.

I had savings but I was out of job too. I wanted my reserves to last as long as possible and I had to retune my life style. In Spain everything is cheaper than in Italy, from gas to electricity, bills and overheads, except water. It is very hot, the landscape is dried-out, almost deserted. Water is rare an expensive.

The first exercise I tried on approaching the spanish language was to try and understand as much as I could from live radio programs. They were inviting listeners to do more to save water. They were suggesting a string of smart tricks to use less of it while showering. I have been smarter and reduced my personal comsumption to 3 liters. How? Showering from two bottles and boiling part of its content with a special kettle for tea. From that moment on I have been saving money and behaved as good citizen at the same time.

A new way. I also did away with the car. I started walking as much as I could. It's incredible how much you can appreciate a town and learn of its details just by walking through it and how great it is to start buying local food from markets. You save money, you make friends, you live the place

I just realized how badly brainwhashed we are. We all are seemingly facing an “either..or..” dilemma. On one side our comfortable life style made of consumptions and material goods but also mortgages and long office hours, on the other side an environment-friendly, almost monastic-like, approach to life, a sort of unrealistic trip through the land of Utopia.

That's far from being true. What is friendly to the environment is also friendly to you, to your body and soul, to your relations and to your well being. Isn't it because we are ourself part of the enviroment and when we destroy it it's as if we are destroying ourselves as well?


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