Sunday, April 20, 2008

Living without a carbon footprint

We recently returned from our trip to Costa Rica and Panama and I have been busy writing about it in my new blog. I wont spend much time on it here but I did want to mention one of the villages we visited briefly.

Today many environmentally conscious people are focusing on lowering their carbon footprint and reducing their impact on the environment around them. No matter what they do, they have nothing on the Embera people living in the Darien Jungle.

These people have been living their quiet peaceful lives without a thought for all the accoutrement's and anxieties of our "modern" existence. And believe it or not, there wasn't a Playstation or Xbox in any of their homes. This meant of course that walking amongst their community, unlike most of our own, children were actually outside playing. Hard to believe, I know, but we have the photos to prove it.

In fact, the only nod to modern machinery I saw was the gas powered engine for the boats they used when taking goods to sell in the city 4 hours away.

I realize some would say they are a backwards people, but I wonder how many of them would choose to trade with us if they knew the true extent each of us is tied financially if not physically to the things we own. Would they give up their quiet peaceful lives so they could have all the items we take for granted as the necessities of life if they understood that in return, half of every waking moment would be spent working for someone else so they could afford it?

At times it seems that we are the ones who have it backwards and now we are stuck trying to repair the damage all of our modern luxuries have caused. Maybe if each of us could spend a week or even a month with people such as this, making the "sacrifices" that are needed to reduce our impact on the world wouldn't be such the big deal most of us make it out to be.

If you are interested in seeing some of what we saw on our travels, feel free to visit my new blog.

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