Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – ‘MetaParadigms’

November 29, 2008

I struggled for a bit trying to find, or coin, a term for one of the most powerful ways to reduce your carbon footprint of all.  It is not actually a single way, but a class of ways. Let’s add it on to the previous post on this topic, which was about your relationship to water.

I came up with the term ‘metaparadigms’, and sure enough, there are uses elsewhere on the Internet.  Since a paradigm is a pattern which is so common and ubiquitous that it is invisible or imperceptible to most (individual and societal ‘habits’ for instance), a ‘metaparadigm’ is a pattern of patterns, that is, a matter of how paradigms are created, transformed, replaced, superceded, etc.

Let’s get down to earth again with this, or rather, down to water.  Take this new paradigm you have learned about water (previous post) and set it firmly in your awareness.  Practice seeing water differently in you manifold daily uses of the substance.  Practice interrupting your old habits of heating and chilling more than is needed, letting heated or chilled water stand and waste that energy.  Once you have firmly created a new paradigm for youself with these aspects of ‘metaparadigming’, start modeling it for others and explicitly teaching it.  We are often subtly taught from childhood not to preach to others.  It is a find line between being a teacher and being a preacher.  But find your voice and refine your methods of sharing your wisdom with others.

And perhaps most importantly and centrally to the above aspects of the ‘metaparadigm’, is to find that place in your psyche which is able to recognize your own (wasteful) paradigms.  It is close to the place in your neural network where you stored learning to whistle and learning to ride a bicycle.  Just as with whistling and bicycle riding, once you access that place and exercise it by interrupting and reforming your paradigms, you will never forget how to do it. – (S)

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