Because our purpose of life is sustainable survival, we can live a meaningful life by doing our best to preserve our sustainable survival. We all have different skills, resources and circumstances so each of can best contribute to the survival of mankind in his or her own way.
We can live with purpose for example by implementing sustainable practices to protect our environment and decrease the probability and severity of our decline. The less we consume, the more we recycle, the less we destroy habitats, the more people can our planet support in peace. There are many easy reduce, reuse, recycle routines that anyone can do to contribute towards sustainability. It’s best to start with yourself – leading by example is proven to inspire others. You can increase the impact by implementing such practices in your family, workplace, neighborhood, amongst people you know and in wider society, depending on your power and influence.
- Drink (filtered) tap water instead of buying bottled water, refill water bottles
- Preserve water during shower and washing
- Install energy-efficient lights and appliances and turn them off when not in use
- Make home energy efficiency improvements (Energy audits are often free and will tell you how you can best save money and environment at the same time. Ask about local government incentives that can make payback of such investments surprisingly short)
- Ride a bicycle, take public transportation or share a ride
- Buy environmentally responsible products
- Avoid excess consumption of anything
- Sell or donate stuff in good condition that you don’t need anymore instead of trashing it
- Recycle garbage, old electronics and don’t allow nasty stuff like batteries into landfills
- And much much more to reduce, reuse, recycle
We can reduce the probability of a steep decline of our civilization by promoting more robust and less vulnerable systems. Centralized and large-scale systems tend to be more efficient and that is why our profit-seeking society prefers to build them. The disadvantage is their vulnerability. For example small scale electricity generation from renewables is not as cost-efficient as a nuclear power-plant, but will come handy if some terrorists attack the centralized facilities. Living in a downtown high-rise makes your life easier now, but a suburban house with a garden will make survival easier if things turn sour. If you support local farmers by buying their produce, they will be able to supply you with food if the shipping lanes of cheap imported food get interrupted. Having a well in a garden might sound old-fashioned, but will be invaluable if central water supply system fails.
We have pretty much lost our ability to survive in wild nature, but we can increase the probability of our own survival by preparing skills and tools for the worst case scenario. How about taking family or friends out for some adventure fun survival course that might come handy one day? Or how about sending kids to Scout so that they learn to start fire and use compass? At least studying a survival handbook1 can be fun and provide you with some useful knowledge.
There are many tools that can help us survive depending on the severity of the threat. The most proactive survivalists build survival shelters under their homes or on some secret location. If your net worth is a couple of million dollars, it probably makes sense to spend a small fraction on such real life insurance2. But even with limited budget you can stock up on basic survival supplies that are cheap now, but will be invaluable in case of an emergency (see Survival packing list)