During the exceptional spring of illness and lockdown, many people discovered the recreational value of nature. When you feel utterly exhausted, you can find rest and peace in the forest. I hope that, during the coronavirus pandemic, we learnt to regard nature as a significant source of wellbeing and to choose a more environmentally-friendly way of life.
The material and immaterial effects of natural ecosystems are vital gifts of God. We would do well to cherish them.
Undeniably, our time is a time of overconsumption, which causes nature to suffer. We observed the World’s Overconsumption Day in July in 2019. In that same year, Finland’s overall consumption exceeded the globe’s capacity to produce renewable resources in April already.
The 2020 Overconsumption Day was probably postponed toa laaer date due to the coronavirus pandemic. The crisis stripped the Western lifestyle of all but the essentials. The volumes of air traffic and mass tourism decreased radically. Factories were closed down.
These changes and some other consequences of the pandemic resulted in a decrease of consumption and emissions. Would this be a suitable juncture for us to create a society better compatible with nature?
If I were younger, I would enroll in an environmental study program of some sort. It is interesting to try to find sustainable solutions. There is a small utopian inside me.
I appreciate the commitment of Finnish schools to the FEG (Fu¬tu¬re Ener¬gy Skil¬ls and Ga¬mi¬fi¬ca¬ti¬on) project, which aims to find ways to integrate sustainable development and prevention of climate change as part of school instruction.
While working on this project, sixth-graders study the insulation of houses from the viewpoint of how to save energy. Younger pupils measure the quantity of water used for washing hands, aiming at minimization of water consumption. Pupils make field trips to enterprises involved in recycling and energy production.
I admit to being an eco-freak who appreciates nature and its protection. People of my generation do not consider the current level of wellbeing and general abundance self-evident.
Let us look at meat consumption, for instance. It has tripled since the 1950s. When I was a child, we did not have meat every day. We ate plain bread and butter. We often had potatoes boiled in milk for dinner, and porridge of tapioca or groats was a good meal.
We lived well on that kind of food. I therefore welcome the diminishing consumption of meat and the increase of vegetable use. I hope that the overconsumption of the past few decades was only a transient trend.
Could we learn to do with less of everything? Could we learn to enjoy our family and home life? During the coronavirus lockdown I was happy to see a new phenomenon: whole families spending time together outdoors and siblings biking together!
I want to make choices that will help us to have a winter and summer, spring and autumn even in the future. I hope there will still be forest paths passing through stands of spruces where I can leave behind my fatigue and low spirits. I also hope many rivers will continue to flow freely, inspiring a free flow of thoughts in people’s minds.
A well-known Finnish conservationist once wrote that we should learn to enjoy a slow boat trip to a nearby island with a thermos of coffee and a bag of home-made cinnamon buns.
I also want to promote an atmosphere of hope. I believe that people can develop the technology to solve environmental and climatic problems.
In addition to our efforts to live in a sustainable way, we also have the gift of prayer. We can ask our Heavenly Father to bless our lives and the work we do. The destiny of the globe is in His hands.
Text: Aulikki Piirainen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Kesäseuraradion lähetys alkoi 17. kesäkuuta, viikkoa aiemmin kuin edellisvuosina. Jo ennen tätä kuultiin seurapainotteinen kevätlähetys, joka oli kuultavissa pelkästään nettiradion kautta. Kun Kesäseuraradio päättää tulevana maanantaina lähetyksensä, sen vastuunkantajilla on takanaan melkoinen määrä työtä.