It took me a lot to write this text, because I didn’t know how to start it or how to continue it, because everything has already been said about the climate crisis and everyone, even those who deny its reality, are aware about what can happen if the research, reports and news that have been published in recent years hold true.

I write it from the conviction that we are at the beginning of an historical change of enormous dimensions, probably never seen before, but also from the certainty that no one knows what will happen, neither exactly nor approximately, just like almost no one knew how to foresee the extent to which a new virus would shake the entire human world.

But mostly I write it from the perplexity of looking around me and realizing that, despite everything, the vast majority of people continue to act as if the changes we will have to make in our lives are small scale, a scale which will not require much more than opting for an electric car instead of a petrol one.


And I also write it with the feeling that most of us are waiting for things to change in our more or less immediate environment to start changing ourselves, as if we were at the starting line of a race waiting to hear the shot to start running.

Or as if we were the protagonists of Samuel Beckett’s play, those who are waiting for Godot to come to tell them what to do, a wait that despairs them, but at the same time prevents them from making any decisions.

Because that’s how a lot of people seem to have understood the situation: that it’s others who have to start changing, mainly politicians, who are supposed to organize the changes and force companies to adapt, and then we will follow them more or less obediently or more or less complaining, accepting more or less resignedly the more or less small changes that we will have to make.

But there is another option: to start changing our daily habits with the aim of really reducing our energy consumption, especially of fossil fuels, which is the main source of the problem.

This option has a great advantage: instead of the passivity of waiting for things to happen, it requires an active attitude to analyze consumption habits and make decisions according to our possibilities, and also the information we have.


How can this be done? This is a question that depends a lot on everyone’s lifestyle, and the answers can be very different, I can only explain my case, which is the only one I can vouch for:

I’m 59 years old, I live in Barcelona and I get around by bike and train, a habit with which, since I was 35, I replaced the use of the car and motorbike, which I haven’t had for more than ten years.

Every day I cycle to work, which is about 10 kilometers from home and when I need a car, I rent it for short journeys -mainly carsharing- and for long ones I use my mother’s car, which I go to pick up by train because she lives 35 kilometers away.

Also 20 years ago I decided to become a vegetarian, that is to say stop eating meat and fish, and right now I haven’t boarded a plane for 4 years, a mode of transport that I will avoid in the future as much as possible.

I also use lunchboxes, shopping bags and other utensils to avoid as much as possible packaging, bags and other plastic or other materials objects that become waste immediately, and I try to save as much water as possible at home, reusing the shower and the bathtub water to avoid throwing clean drinking water down the toilet.

These are the changes I have made so far and I will be adding more as I become aware of other negative effects of my daily habits.

I’m not explaining it because what I’ve done should serve as a model for anyone, each person, each family, each home, is a particular case and has the margins of action it has, I’m explaining it to expose some of the things that we can do without waiting for external changes.

And what I’ve done so far isn’t heroic, it’s just decisions I’ve made consciously to contribute to the necessary changes. Nor are they huge sacrifices that have made my life worse, it’s still more or less the same as before, in many ways better than before and I also have the peace of mind that I’m not a passive subject who just hides his head under the wing hoping it’s all a dream.

I will add that I am also convinced that when many people take the plunge and begin to profoundly change their daily habits, governments and companies will also be forced to make profound changes to stop burning fossil fuels and seriously reduce our ecological footprint as a society.

Josep Maria Camps Collet


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