“In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks.” -John Muir
The first sustainable action I want to share with you in 2017 is to walk. It is so simple, yet it is the cornerstone of our evolution. It’s what sets us apart from apes. It’s what gave us thirst for travel. It’s what made our little toes atrophy with time as our heels broadened into walking instruments. Walking is what makes a human a human.
Yet we find so many excuses nowadays not to do it. We have cars that have substituted our need to walk. We have elevators to get us upstairs. We don’t make good enough use of the two marvelous limbs attached to our torso that give us freedom, because we have the option not to, and that is the easier option.
But to save the world (remember I told you it was going to take a lot of work?) a lot of physical effort is necessary. And part of that is reverting to our origins by remembering the use of our legs and feet and putting them to work. It’s using them to fetch milk, to exercise the rest of our body, or to simply enjoy nature. Walking is a need. Walking should not be forgotten. Walking is a key to remembering our place on Earth and in doing so, we can cut our ecological footprint on Earth.
Here are the ways you can incorporate walking more into your life:
#1. Walk to the bank. Walk to the supermarket. Walk to the post office. Walk to school. Walk whatever short distance you can to run your errands, rain or shine, snow storm or wind. It will take longer, yes. But it will also prevent fumes of CO2 from collecting in the atmosphere, causing global warming. On a more personal level, walking will also save you gas and mileage . It will boost your circulation, prevent heart disease, stop you from getting the flu in the winter (it’s not the cold air that causes the flu, but being trapped inside where all the germs brew), and generally promote your health and wellbeing. Those extra 15 minutes (or 20, 30, 40…) are well worth it.
#2. When you move to a new place, choose somewhere that is within walking distance of those aforementioned places, giving you the opportunity to use your legs more.
#3. Walk to exercise. Our ancestors walked from Europe into the Americas across the Bering strait. They conquered the four corners of the Earth using their feet (and maybe a couple paddles). Think walking is not enough exercise? Try their method of walking long distances. And use the time you’re out walking to fetch some milk, too.
#4. Walk just for the sake of walking. Take a walk without expecting anything. You just might be surprised.