A few days ago, I went to a Pachamama Alliance symposium concerning the condition of the earth and the people in it and what we can do to heal the world. I'm not going to go into the fullness of what the symposium covered, I'll just say that it made me take a close look at what I do with my own time. Mostly I feel good about what I do. I work to improve the fertility of my land, grow a fair amount of my food, spend some time educating others, write these two blogs and do a lot of reading. But there is one thing I regularly do that adds no fulfillment to my life or land and does nothing to improve the lives of others . . .
I play computer solitaire.
I play a lot of it actually. I probably play solitaire for an average of over an hour per day. I won't say that I do not enjoy it. There is something entrancing about the possibility of beating the computer this time (I only play Vegas style), and some days I just can't get enough.
What a waste.
So, I'm taking the baby step of giving it up. "What!?!" I hear you say, "In what way is that supposed to save the planet?" You'd be surprised how much difference a tiny step can make.
For starters, it would lessen wear and tear on our computer (we've already destroyed the "ctrl" function by relentlessly taking back moves) forestalling the time when it will need to go to either the landfill or a recycling plant. In the landfill it would last practically forever, eventually tainting the earth with heavy metals. In a recycling plant it would likely be sent to a third world nation to be taken apart by young children giving them a wide variety of cancers.
It would lessen the wear and tear on my body, as constant use of the touchpad brings on shoulder pain (something like carpal tunnel syndrome).
It would keep me from vacating, or causing my mind to go completely blank (I can't tell you how many times I've gone on the computer for a purpose, played some solitaire first, and completely forgotten what I had intended to do).
It would open up something like 365 hours for more inspiring and useful activities such as: writing letters, reading, exercising, blogging, talking to my family, baking, building community, or gift making. If I only spent 4 of those hours per week making gifts, I could make at least 29 gifts (assuming about 7 hours per gift) and that's way more gifts than I normally give out in a year.
I'm sure I can think up even more useful ways to spend that time, and like I said, It's just a baby step.
We all have pointless activities we engage in that could be replaced with more fulfilling and helpful activities. Look at your life and find one thing you can take a baby step with. Now, make your own solitary commitment!