Just got back from a superb weekend away with His Holiness Devamrita Swami at the Hare Krishna Valley. No matter how many times I have gone on these retreats with HH Devamrita Swami, the lectures, messages and advice are never the same. This time, His Holiness focused on the Human Footprint, a video prepared by National Geographic.
“Human Footprint” is a excellent documentary made by National Geographic Channel to highlight the consumerism of humans. They teach us a lesson by making an audit of the consumption of a single person over a period of 77 years – from birth to old age – a complete life time. As the documentary progressed, people were stunned as to how much a single person can consume. Here are some of the things that an average american consumes in a single lifetime:
14518 candy bars, 1056 pounds of sugar, 5067 bananas, 12888 oranges, 29700 plastic wraps, 28433 showers (700,00 gallons of water), 156 tooth brushes, 389 tubes of toothpaste, 198 bottles of shampoo, 411 skincare bottles, 50 tubes of lipstick, 13248 beers, 942 wines, 7 washing machines, 8 microwaves, 10 TVs, 15 computers, 3.25 tons of coal burnt from a single hair dryer, 12.5 years of TV watching, 412 books, 5054 newspaper read (43 trees cut per person), 19826 eggs, 87520 slices of bread, 26112 cups of milk etc.
If you are interested to see how much you use in a lifetime, you can visit NatGeo consumption calculator.
His Holiness said that this is what parents will give their children – the art of consuming. The mantra of people is – Work, Buy, Consume, Die. People are not even fully aware how much each of them consume and the impact it can have on earth. We are always saying that the world has to change to make a difference and there is nothing much a single person can do. Now, many of the people in the room thought differently.
The video and the powerful lecture by His Holiness made a deep impact on many devotees and many lined up to ask their doubts and seek guidance.
Personally, I think its very important for all of us to know such information. It gives us even more impetus and urgency to push on the mission of Krishna Consciousness. Also, I think its important for us devotees to keep an eye on the quantity of things we may personally consume. We also have a task to save Planet Earth from vanishing resources. Personally, when I am at the temple, I will not use anymore plastic spoons and paper plates for my prasad. I will bring my own steel plate and use my hands.