Ok, so this is another vast subject and I am by no means a specialist, nor am I perfect.
I used to fly a lot and I live in a modern world with modern commodities. I believe we can make a change though, if everybody is a bit more conscious and with time (if we have that much time).
Me for myself I try to follow a couple of guidelines:
- REUSE – RECYCLE – REPAIR (thanks Patagonia for this great motto).
- Reduce meat consumption. Eat organic and naturally grown local animals.
- Only buy what you really need NOW.
- Go local, avoid stuff that has been shipped around the globe 3 times.
- Try to stick to natural and recyclable materials, avoid plastic.
- Quality over quantity.
- Keep your carbon footprint as low as you can.
Living on a boat for two years creates great awareness of the resources we use.
Water and electricity are not supplied limitless, after using a certain quantity, you actually have to produce more, run a generator to charge batteries, run a water maker. It makes you realise what’s involved in having water available, or power.
One of the problem nowadays is, that we are so far removed from production.
We have no clue of the conditions. Every now and then, thanks to internet and social media, we get a glimpse of the nasty details: the living (and dying) conditions of a dairy cow; of a commercially farmed chicken; of a pig that spends all his life in a gestation cage so small it can’t lie down, turn around or interact (this is where your bacon and ham comes from!!!); commercial fishing; working conditions in the textile industry; blood farms to extract hormones from horse mares to be used to increase fertility of pigs; African villages that have oil in their drinking water from the nearby refineries; the list can go on and on.
All we see is the finalised, clean and pretty product in the shore shelf.
I just recently read a few lines that sum the problem up: “Globalisation may have made the world a smaller place, but it had also created voids and disconnects. Because of the enormous distances between the sources and unsers of some products, consumers know very little about the implications of their choices.”
Obviously everybody wants to eat and to dress, most people like to drive a car, have a phone, a laptop, a television and so on. There is no easy solution to all the evils involved in production. But one approach could be quality over quantity for the basic needs of food and shelter (=clothing). Have a few good items that will last, rather than many cheap ones you have to replace soon. Eating meat only once a week, or even once a month and making sure it comes from a happy healthy animal, rather than consuming cheap industrial meat & poultry everyday and supporting a life of misery (beside it’s healthier for you as well).
More and more information gets out there and just needs to be applied.
Something that came as a surprise to me is how much animal farming affects the environment, much more than most industries actually and somehow nobody knows.
For more information check out: Cowspiracy, the sustainability secret.