A somewhat sustainable depression A few days ago now, a few of us students visited Sadhana Forest. Sadhana Forest engages in tons of awesome sustainable projects but first and foremost concentrate on reforestation and water conservation. When we first arrived, we had a thorough demonstration on how to use their fully compostable toilets and I think I speak for more than myself when saying that putting our newly acquired knowledge into practice was somewhat nervously carried out. We were taken on a guided tour on the grounds and ended up in their main hut where a documentary was shown and we were served a great vegan dinner before getting on the bus taking us home.
Overall, it was a very inspirational and great visit showing that some people are indeed willing to go to great lengths to live sustainably. One the one hand, I would say that we could all use a little bit more of Sadhana Forest inspired thinking in our lives in order to live sustainably. The work that they do is nothing less than admirable. On the other hand though, I couldn’t help but feeling a little exhausted and bewildered, do we all have to turn into vegans and stop using toilet paper in order to have the slightest chance of not destroying the planet we inhabit within the next fifty years or so? How can an average person like myself, who likes travelling to distant places and hot showers, be a part of a movement towards sustainable living? The thought of giving up taken for granted comforts like flying, an occasional soda and butter on my bread scares me.
I consider myself a person who take steps towards lessening my ecological footprint but after my visit to Sadhana Forest, I realize that there is so much more that I can do. I used to give myself credit for choosing vegetarian and organic food, for not having a car and for recycling meticulously. Partly because of the visit to Sadhana Forest I have come to better understand that small behavior changes like the ones I have adopted matter little in terms of enabling a bright and green future for generations to come. And honestly, realizing that makes me feel paralyzed more than anything else. I’m sorry to say, but that hardcore vegan-, almost no electricity-, hut life lived in Sadhana Forest is not for me. Yet, I sincerely want to be a part of the movement towards a sustainable future. Is there a middle road or is it perhaps time for me and others to step up our game and start making some radical changes in our lives, Sadhana Forest style?