I’d never heard of the Eden Project until a few weeks ago. Now I’ve experienced how inspiring it is and I’m glad to have had the opportunity. In particular, I discovered a 10-point guide to life that was unexpected and quite powerful. See below.
On any of the images in this post, just click on them to see them in full size.
The Eden Project
I visited the Eden Project in Cornwall, England, a couple of days ago. If you haven’t heard about it already, you can visit their site, http://www.edenproject.com, to learn more about it. Their main marketing message is;
The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world. Our visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our Great Gardens, summer concerts and an exciting year-round family events programme.
However, just outside the visitor centre, I found these two plaques with impactful messages;
I love “celebrate our dependence on the natural world and each other” and “showing what can be achieved when people work together and with nature”. Those two phrases are a great summary of the Eden Project.
The Eden Project’s 10-Point Guide to Life
The biggest surprise of the day was found in the Core building where they have a lot of interesting exhibits. On one wall they had a series of 10 images and text (see below) that are essentially a 10-point guide to life. Looking at each one, I began to feel touched by the words and the sentiments of each of them. I was affected so much by them that I wanted to photograph them and record them here. Just click on any of the images below to see them full size, or read the full transcript that I’ve listed below.
1. Do stuff
“Don’t waste it, turn it off, turn it down, do it less, do it local, do it yourself, recycle, swap, repair, share.”
I love all of this. It’s well in line with the Use 10 Percent Less initiative and efforts to have less of an impact on our natural world. We don’t have to listen to all of the advertising we hear. We don’t need lots of stuff. We don’t need new stuff all the time.
2. Be hopeful
“Hope just isn’t about crossing your fingers. Without it we could get cynical and frozen in despair. Hope is the fuel – but it only works if you do something.”
Never any reason not to be grateful and hopeful.
3. Learn about your life
“Is having ‘stuff’ bad? Not always: trade is not the same as consumption and can support livelihoods. Understand what sustains you and what you need to care about. Learning new talents and skills can help you get there.”
Advertising always attempts to convince us we need to buy new things. Of course it does because that’s how the people paying for the advertising make profits. It’s better for the world if we share things we no longer need with others.
4. Increase your reach
“There’s only so much you can do on your own. Try working or through other organisations. Also don’t forget that your wallet is your weapon. Make buying choices that help good things happen – worldwide.”
Us average people can change everything, just by simply spending our money in a different direction. Gandhi showed us the power of the average people. Imagine what would happen if we only bought organic foods? Imagine what would happen to the world if we all used a bit less energy? (See Use 10 Percent Less)
5. Be angry at the things you can’t change…
“but think about who can change them. Demand that governments, companies and big organisations change with us and give us real choices.”
Don’t be indifferent. Demand what is right and keep on demanding. Don’t put up with little things that we know are wrong.
6. Imagine different things
“The 21st century will be a time of transformation. Meet different people, explore different things, read different books, try out new ideas.”
I love the image that comes along with quote. Just erase what we see in our minds and start imagining the future we’d like.
7. Give gifts and give thanks
“Understand why we need each other. This is a time to support each other, to work together and build communities.”
We all need everyone else. We’re in this together. It’s time to support each other no matter how different we seem to be.
8. Get out more
“People can’t care about what they don’t understand and don’t have some sense of connection to. So we need to get out and down in the dirt lest we forget how it keeps us alive. Play together, learn, explore and have adventures.”
I love the image of the boy being pushed through the field in an armchair. Also, the bit about forgetting how it’s the soil that keeps us alive. It feels like a lot of the world has forgotten this already. The big food companies prefer us to forget about the soil and believe that it is their companies that are keeping us alive.
[Edit: There’s a good page on bestforthekids.com called “15 Benefits of Going Out and Engaging with Nature for Kids” that reinforces how beneficial is is for kids to interact with Nature, and The Eden Project is one great way to do that.]
9. Forgive yourself (and others)
“Sustainable development will be a territory for endless exploration. Learn from mistakes. We make mistakes because we act, strive and aim high – and that is what makes us human.”
This is a beautiful way to talk about mistakes. Mistakes are just pieces of life and we can learn from all parts of life.
10. Have fun
“‘Living a sustainable life’ isn’t all about ‘don’t do this’ sucking the joy out of living. Where is the adventure in that? There are worlds of possibility out there. Rich cultures, rich experiences, music, laughter, fun and just enjoying life more – foundations for a better future.”
There is so much fun in the world and fun isn’t bad. Enjoy!
Eden Project Inspiration
I found the Eden Project inspirational at a number of levels. First, it was great to be around nature, to be in a place where sustainability was considered normal. It was also great to be in a place that used to be an old quarry, basically a scar on the Earth, but they’ve managed to return it to a beautiful place again. You can really feel the togetherness of us all with the Earth at the Eden Project. There is a lot of positivity and love that can be felt in this place.
But then, to also find at the Eden Project the 10-point guide to life that I’ve recorded above was an added bonus. All of these 10-points are great things to reflect upon. Great thoughts to carry into meditation. Do they have any meaning for you? Do they inspire you? Do they help us decide what and how we’d like to be?
Thank you to the Eden Project.
Related Links – Eden Project
- We stayed at a YHA youth hostel Snoozebox (a converted shipping container) for a night in the grounds of the Eden Project. It was fun. See – http://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/eden-project
- There’s a good page on bestforthekids.com called “15 Benefits of Going Out and Engaging with Nature for Kids” that reinforces how beneficial is is for kids to interact with Nature, and The Eden Project is one great way to do that.