Are We in a Coma?

Are We in a Coma?


The world is changing rapidly… and we must change also.  It is quite a dilemma for everyone to make a choice.  With so many causes to fight for in order to save planet Earth, where do we begin?  Without further ado, let us begin here and now with whatever little knowledge and common sense we still have.

At times, I feel we are in a coma.  Completely oblivious to how we are abusing and using up planet Earth.  We take and throw, use and abuse without a second thought.  We have definitely become a ‘consumer’ society! Maybe it’s a generalisation, but children are more aware than adults these days of the impact of climate change.  The children will be the ones to inherit whatever we create here today.  The question is: Will they thank us for what we have left them?



Just last week at the UN Climate Action Summit, the conclusion was that there needs to be an urgent call for change from both governments and the private sector.  They see the need to focus and accelerate their efforts, but there is an awful lot of talk and procrastination.  Time is going by, but where is there real action for change?

Well… Well… Well… At last they are waking up.  People have been saying these things for the past thirty to forty years… But I guess it’s hard to get into some real action plan unless the governments decide to do something about it…  Now we are at the crucial tipping point…  We have to change for our planet to survive.

Look even this week, (September 2019), there was a young 16 year old Swedish girl called Greta Thunberg speaking on this very topic.  This was her purpose in coming to America, and she spoke passionately at the United Nations Climate Summit.  She was pointing the finger at the complacency of the governments and calling them reckless and irresponsible for their lack of care and duty. At the end she was crying with anger at the loss of her future and her world.  Greta said she should not be there pleading for our precious Earth, she should have been in school!  But the fears for Greta were that her generation would have no future in which to live, simply because of the greed and short sightedness of our current political and economic leaders!

Why do humans always wait until the – – in order to make important decisions?  Is it the adrenaline rush that we enjoy?  Is it shear laziness and disinterest?  Is it because of the money?  Or is it that we are too comfortable and don’t want to change?  Perhaps we are simply too selfish and don’t care!!

Surely it is a fact of law that if we gain something here, whatever it may be, then it must be taken from somewhere else… Eventually that source will deplete at some point in time.  We do not have an infinite supply of everything, for example soil, water, air, oil, gold, diamonds etc.  And the more we demand of it, the more the reserves have to be extracted from Mother Earth.

This is why we must start to do something.  However small, but in our own way. We must begin now.


In our house we dug a pit in the garden and dumped all the fruit and vegetable peelings into that.  That saved a lot of garbage going into the main bin, plus once we added dried leaves from our garden, it produced a really good compost after three months which we added to the soil.  So we got free organic compost for our garden too with a little effort!  If you have a garden, then start now.

We also recycled paper, plastic, metal and glass.  We subscribed to a company which took it from us every week and from our understanding it was recycling everything.  As much as possible, we avoided taking, extra packaging from things we bought.  We also recycled everything brought into the house.  We recycled clothes and also old pots and pans… and we were consciously trying to be environmentally aware and friendly.

Basically, recycling, repairing and using wherever we could.  Does this sound at all familiar?  Your grandma for sure would understand this concept and was probably doing this all naturally in her day.  She would not have needed to be educated in the ways of waste conservation.

Here is a breakdown of the time it takes for various materials to decompose and be re-absorbed by Nature.

  • Aluminium cans: 200-500 years
  • Apple peel: 2 months
  • Banana peel: 3-4 weeks
  • Cardboard 2: months
  • Cigarette: 1-12 years
  • Cotton: 1-5 months
  • Disposable diapers: – 550 years
  • Foam plastic cups: – 50 years
  • Glass bottle: 1-2 million years
  • Hairspray bottle: 200-500 years
  • Leather shoes: 25-40 years
  • Milk packet (tetra) covers and drink packets: 5 years
  • Monofilament fishing line: 600 years
  • Newspaper: 1.5 months
  • Nylon clothes: 30-40 years
  • Orange peel: 6 months
  • Paper towel: 2-4 weeks
  • Paper bag:1 month
  • Plastic bag: 200-1000 years
  • Plastic bottle: 70-450 years
  • Plywood: 1-3 years
  • Rope: 3-14 months
  • Rubber-boot sole: 50-80 years
  • Sanitary napkins and children diapers: 500-800 years
  • Thread: 3-4 months
  • Tin cans: around 50 years
  • Wool Sock: 1-5 years

all the man made products take much longer for Nature to convert

As you can see from this list, all the man made products take much longer for Nature to convert.  The more natural products like paper and vegetable peelings can be more easily, quickly and naturally re-assimilated by Mother Earth.  The rest of the materials are really quite indigestible for Her!


“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Superficial changes will no longer cut it.  If we wish to save the world in which we live we have to learn to love our world planet more.  What Gandhi was saying is that actions speak louder than words.  We have to begin to put people and our dear planet before profit.  There needs to be a whole consciousness shift if we want to see this happen.  And it begins with each one of us in whatever way we can make a change.

It’s Time… to wake up from our comatose state and be more mindful of our actions.  Of what and how we use things.  Let’s give Mother Nature a break and learn to love and appreciate Her much more.  After all, she will still be here, breathing and thriving, after we have long gone!

© ‘It’s Time…’  by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK

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