So proud of this guy, @lescargotanglais aka Eddie Platt aka The English Snail, the co-author and star of our book. He’s the crazy English guy spreading his love for France, the planet and humans far and wide.
Impossible to stay indifferent where he is concerned, for he is full of passion and ideas, even if some are better than others, he gives his all. Thanks to this unfaltering drive, Eddie has been the sole catalyst of change for many already.
We first connected some years ago now, every time he sent me a message I would think, who is this mad man? But in reality, he made me realise that we could all do something about the things that bother us. In this case, the rubbish we often ignore and that goes on to pollute our planet even after we are long gone.
Now it is clear that the scope of our collective problems are so much bigger than that, but we must all start somewhere. Eddie, his call to action and his passion are what truly helped me take stock of my life, and start living more in accordance with my values.
It seems trivial, but noticing how much man-made rubbish is all around us was a real wake up call. For me and many. Sure, I knew the way the western world worked wasn’t quite right, but like most of us, I just moaned about it and continued to contribute to the mess, albeit most times unwittingly.
No, I don’t throw things on the floor. Yes, I always sort my recycling. But is that enough? Is that ever really enough in a world where humanity is hurtling towards oblivion? In a world where some still live without clean water and electricity whilst their leaders travel in private jets? In a world where we fight over land and resources that belong to us all, while only some benefit from it?
The answer is no, it isn’t, we should be doing better than that. Those of us here, with so much privilege because of how the global north, our ancestors and our leaders, have behaved throughout history. Wouldn’t it be time to actually do something useful with that privilege instead of just basking in it at the expense of others?
Picking up rubbish, especially when you didn’t drop it, is an act of pure love for your planet, and a practice in forgiveness, humility and solidarity, but it shouldn’t stop there.
It’s one thing to pick up rubbish, maybe even analyse it and provide data for authorities tasked with making policy changes, maybe even recycle it and talk about it to anyone who will listen. Yet, is it really useful when your own bin is chock full of rubbish each week? Is it really useful when the things you choose to consume physically and mentally are poisoning your body, our planet and contributing to the enslavement of others? Is it really useful when we, as a society, keep producing more and more toxic waste, pillaging more and more resources? Probably not.
So you, who is reading this, or our book ‘The Englishman Who Wanted to Clean France’, it’s one thing to be outraged about the state of the world around us, but look at what you are actually doing on the daily, in minute detail. Do you know where the things you buy actually come from and how they came to be so convenient, so easily accessible to you? Do you really know the impact these things have on our planet, on your body, on others? Or do you just trust blindly that if it is available to us, it must be good for us/the planet/others?
We interact with so many components here on this Earth, yet we don’t even know how they came to be or why we do them. We spend so much time, so much energy destroying life within us and around us, on purpose or by accident, but what if we said stop? What if we slowed down, relearned what we thought we knew and taught ourselves new things outside of what is convenient and “normal”? What if we become curious and start really honouring life, protecting and growing, together?
Stop thinking that others, especially those in power, share the same desires and interests for humanity as we might do. Time and time again, history has proven that those in power may talk the talk, but look around, how many of us are actually walking the walk in honour of our own values and in honour of the life that runs through our very veins? Why would those in power do it then? How many of us are just going through the motions of a life handed to us? Wouldn’t it be time to decode our own existence and bring it into line with our deepest hopes and dreams?
Turn inwards, for every change starts there. Don’t stop, because there is still so much to do. Don’t falter, for you are more powerful and free than you think. We can only move forward with love. Love for ourselves, each other, love for our home, love for the very energy that makes us live. We’ve already tried destroying and hating, we’ve already tried bringing each other down, trying to hide our shadows and running from them, even using them against each other. What if we tried something else now?
If you’re still here reading this, thank you. I’m truly grateful for you, consumer of my words. Changemaker of our world. Let’s build together. ❤
Please note that the book in English is only available in eBook format, stay tuned for the English print version (eventually). For those wishing to purchase the French paperback right now, it can be purchased from the 1 Déchet Par Jour 1 Piece of Rubbish website. Remember to avoid large retailers and support small, local businesses and asssociations for new purchases as much as possible.