The other path

Our world moves fast and we love the easy choice.

We jet off to the other side of the planet for a meeting or birthday party. We have our clothes made, our homes built, our water purified, our meals delivered, our waste collected, our parks landscaped and our streets cleaned.

We celebrate extreme sports, ultimate adventures, couture fashion, gourmet dining, supreme masters and speed dating.

Every other social media post is about something awesome or amazing.

Our cars are fast our computers are fast our trains are fast and we fast track our careers. Our food is so fast that someone started a slow food movement.

Our aspirations are changing as we recognize more holistic lifestyle options.

I am hearing from friends at the top of their game retiring from global media and advertising firms to enjoy farm life, proudly sharing pictures of their pick up trucks, vegetable gardens and chickens.

A recent trend in luxury travel indicates the change at hand. Guests are paying top dollar to have an off-the-grid experience. No phones. No television. No connection with life in the fast lane. We are paying to unplug .. to chop our own wood and haul our own water.

We are beginning to look up from our computer screens and consider the possibility we are missing the big picture.

Hong Kong beaches have made international headlines not because they are polluted but because people visiting them are no longer willing to stand by and wait for someone else to do something about it. Trash has flooded our coastline for decades, piling up and drifting out to sea each month with the full moon high tide. This happens every year but this year the high tide at the strawberry moon on the summer solstice created the perfect conditions for the oceans to puke up plastic.

Neighbors have happily adopted our habits of convenience and we are becoming aware of the size of the population with the sheer volume of their garbage. We have encouraged them to adopt a consumption-driven middle-class lifestyle in the name of economic growth. Maybe we haven’t really thought it through and we continue introduced disposable plastic packaging into societies whose cultural habits are based upon basic packaging with natural materials that were easily disposed of. They don’t disappear like banana leaves and wooden bowls and coconut cups. They don’t last like porcelain and bamboo and ceramic.

Endless plastic straws and cups and bottles and packages are coming back to haunt us.

There are options in front of us with innovative companies like Vegware, a local business offering eco food disposables while reverse recycling machines offer rewards for keeping the environment clean. The decision to take a long term approach to profits goes against our current quarterly-reviews to cut costs at any cost.

Some of us prefer the familiar comfort of our well-worn path of our throw-away lifestyle while others are looking more deeply at the hidden costs. It takes time and energy to step away from the known and embark on a trail where few have travelled before us.

We may tell ourselves we don’t have a choice but when we close our eyes and take a breath, we remember that we do.

What are your options?




natural life in the fast lane

Everything is connected.
Listen to your own heartbeat.

“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” William James

Photo by Kinzie


Founder of HK heartbeat - natural life in the fast lane