WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER
It's been almost a month since we launched our Experience Matters Project. Our goal? To co-create a culture that privileges connection—to the natural world, to ourselves, to the people that we love—over mindless consumption (check out our Experience Matters Checklist for tangible steps you can take today to do just that).
In the aftermath of Break Free, the Loam staff has been reflecting on the power of disruption to reinvigorate our relationship to the earth and shake up exploitative systems. Over the course of two weeks, environmental activists across the world worked together to cultivate experiences and coordinate rallies that illuminated the preciousness of our environment, stressed the need for alternatives to fossil fuels, and highlighted the wild power within the people. Break Free was an epic reminder of the need for disruption.
Because we know that how things are is fundamentally unsustainable. It's easy to fear change—we're only human! But what if we nourished the capacity for change from a place of joy and juiciness? What if we integrated the delicious act of disruption—in small ways and sometimes in big ways—into our everyday life?
I think that disruption is a practice. It's a muscle that you work. Sometimes, I find myself swept into the flow of doing as I've always done. And then when I breathe in deep, when I think hard about how desperately I love this world and want to protect it, when I can feel that desire to fight float to the surface of my soul—it's then that disruption becomes second nature.
Let's give thanks to the people who fought hard for Break Free by paying it forward. Below, a couple ways you can exercise disruption in your own lives.
WANT TO DISRUPT INDUSTRIALIZED AGRICULTURE?
- Commit to eating a plant-based diet. This doesn't have to mean cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs entirely. Every body is built differently. But the truth is, if you care about the environment, you DO have to make changes to how you eat. We all do (even vegans)! Decide what diet best integrates your values with your actions and pursue it.
- Grow a garden. It's almost the weekend and the best way to begin a project is to dive in! You don't need a backyard. You don't need a green thumb. You only need a willingness to learn and a love of food. All are welcome at the threshold of farming.
- Get feisty with the food system. Educate yourself about permaculture. Read up on the alternative food movement. Knowledge is the basis for meaningful action. And if you're a student in college, check out these strategies for pushing your campus dining hall to switch to real food.
WANT TO DISRUPT THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY?
- Join your local 350 chapter. Break Free has worked up some terrific momentum. By bringing more voices into the mix, we can multiply our ability to eradicate fossil fuels. Full-stop.
- Rethink your next vacation. Make long-distance travel a rare luxury by choosing instead to explore your corner of the universe. Airplane travel is incredibly carbon consumptive. And when there is so much to yearn for and learn from right where we are, why not sink into the soil where you're planted?
- Contribute your energy to supporting divestment campaigns. Change often happens slowly, slowly, slowly—and then, FAST. As colleges throughout the country wean off fossil fuels and people move their money into credit unions, we're seeing a major shift in what values matter most to investors.
WANT TO DISRUPT TECHNOLOGY?
- Forced obsolescence SUCKS. Fight back by sharing technological resources with friends.
- Take a tech detox. It's okay. Nothing bad will happen.
- Recycle. Repair. Reuse. Simple as that.
WANT TO DISRUPT THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM?
- Challenge yourself to not buy anything new (save for food and basic shelter stuff) for six months. If you're addicted to the thrill of fresh, go cold turkey on conspicuous consumption for four weeks (sometimes, the best way to incite change is to start small). I've found that the less I buy, the less I want to buy. I'm coming to truly enjoy what I have and to see shopping as an infrequent treat.
- Screw Amazon. Seriously.
- Share. Share food, share resources, share ideas. True community is built on generosity of spirit.
Disruption is how you define it. And disruption doesn't need to wait.