—Systemic change begins with personal change—

105: Evelina Utterdahl, part 2: A Month With No Plastic!


Evelina said she'd avoid plastic for a month before she could think twice about it. Did she complain or back out? You'll hear in this episode, but the big picture is that instead of giving up, she worked harder. I've spoken to a lot of people who started from less and took on smaller projects, if anything. A lot of people talk. Evelina acted. She did a lot. And what do you know? She enjoyed acting more than most people, who seem to prefer saying how helpless they are, despite the sorrow it seems to bring them. Recall, she is a travel writer and chose not to fly. She's already done more than nearly anyone. She takes personal responsibility for what she does. But hearing her speak, you don't hear sadness or missing. I hear her creating joy, taking initiative, not waiting for others. I think the root of her activity and joy is for doing the opposite of what most people do when they face not acting by their values. Most people delay acting by making a goal of "awareness" or "being more conscious," as if reading front page headlines nearly weekly on predicted environmental disasters recurring. Anyone not living under a rock is "aware." Evelina differs because she acts. Her behavior sets her apart and replaces guilt with enthusiasm. She knows she's aware enough to act. I'm not sure how many back-to-back once-a-century droughts or coral die-offs they need to know about to break their threshold for awareness. All their delaying personal action with talk of ineffective vague awareness led me to see that behavior leads to more awareness than the other way around. In our conversation, you'll hear how people who are doing more than most sound. You won't hear us complaining. It's a delight talking to someone who acts and achieves. Plus you'll hear my punch-a-kid view that will get me in trouble one day. Read the transcript.

089: Evelina Utterdahl, part 1: Traveling the world without flying


Evelina Utterdahl travels more than most. She writes travel columns. She loves travel as much as anyone, maybe more. Yet she chooses not to fly, as she wrote in Why I have chosen to travel the world without flying. If you've had trouble aligning your life with your values, you may learn from her. Part of a growing number of people who think before they fly, she chooses not to fly not out of ignorance or guilt but Experience Self-awareness Desire to learn and grow Stewardship of her environment and community Fun in other words, the important skills of leadership, teamwork, and business success. She's practicing in living by her values what many wish we could do but don't have the courage to. "Wait," you might say. "Isn't she missing out on the best parts of life? What about family and making a living? I have work. She must not. Probably a trust fund kid." On the contrary. She has the same obligations as anyone else. As you'll see, she has learned to get the value and experience of travel without the environmental costs. Fun, joy, discovery Since I avoid flying too, I finally found someone I could share our mutual fun, joy, and discovery, not the usual arguments everyone gives about how flying is necessary. This conversation shows two people sharing joy about something people considered impossible. Prepare for your beliefs to be challenged. Prepare to grow. Read the transcript.  

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