I found some good quotes in an interactive article from the Guardian. Ruth Bond said that ”The huge threat we all face from climate change means that the day-to-day decisions made about the food we buy, our travel & how we heat our homes are more important than ever’ – I couldn’t agree more. In fact, according to Rob Hopkins, we should be doing ‘pretty much just about everything differently’. Environmental sustainability involves scrutinising our personal lives and changing our habits and preferences for the long-term good of humanity. Some of these changes will be easy, such as changing our light bulbs so that they are more energy efficient; some will be much harder, such as stepping away from a materialistic, high-consumption lifestyle so as to reduce our environmental impact. All these changes require effort and commitment to personal goals, so that year after year we reduce our environmental footprint.
Our inspiration? Climate change is ‘a threat to national and global security’, according to Caroline Lucas; we need to realise that ‘the war is with ourselves. We are the enemy, just as we have only ourselves as allies’, as Al Gore said. Change lies within.
I often think of a quote I came across from an article in the Guardian by Andrew Brown, who said ‘Let’s face it, any adjustment to an ecologically sustainable standard of living is going to be a lot nastier than anything Greece is going through now’. I believe he is right – we are going to have to give up certain comforts and conveniences for the greater good. It is not easy being green, and thorny issues will have to be tackled, such as how to stabilise national and global populations. I know that I would hate to give up certain luxuries, such as flying abroad, particularly since there is rarely an alternative. In fact according to David MacKay‘s free book, ‘Sustainable Energy, without the hot air’ (check out the contents here), ‘ocean liners use more energy per passenger-km than jumbo jets’!
Have you set yourself any personal goals to reduce your environmental impact?
What are they?
Have you had any success in the past?
I’ve had some successes, such as not buying bottled water, plastic bags, conventional toiletries and cosmetics in favour of more eco-friendly options (e.g. toothpastes). However, some of my goals are works-in-progress, for example I’m trying to remember to bring tupperwares & cutlery with me when I go out. I also have some major goals for the future which I hope to fulfill as soon as possible, but it is likely I will have to wait well over 5 years for some of them, if not a decade (e.g. drive an electric car powered by renewable electricity, have my home powered by renewable energy).