I’m not special. I happen to be just one of the six billion people that live on this planet. Whether your religious or not, the way I see it, we are all part of the human family, one great big, interconnected, multi-generational, inter-cultural, spread out, and fairly dysfunctional family. But, I’m not special, I’m just one more member of the family. It’s only fair that I share equally with the rest of the family, this great big planet that we live on. Above is a picture of my ecological footprint. It’s an improvement from how I was living last year, but still double what I’d like it to be.
I know it’s not right to make laws about things like this, but I don’t see why we as people aren’t a little more shameful of the way that we live? I mean if I took the 4.5 acres that were for my brother and hogged his plus mine, and a little of my sisters land all to myself, just so I could eat as I please and travel as I wanted to. People would scoff at me. Why is it then that nobody will probably ever call me out on my choices regarding this?
If I knew him I’d ask him to stop making Hummers. You see sometimes there are products whose negative impact outweigh their positive impact. There are plenty of other products to pick on, but Hummer’s just seemed like an easy target at the moment.
I’ve been listening to Corporate Watchdog Radio recently, and I’ve found it pretty interesting. The episode I listened to recently was talking about companies “social footprint” and their role in creating a sustainable world.
One part of the conversation that was interesting was the dilemma of how to consider the impact that the consumers of a companies products have on the environment. Are automobile manufacturers responsible for the impact their cars have when their customers drive it? I would argue they definitly have some responsibility. We as consumers are absolutely responsible for lifestyle choices and purchases, but the companies producing those products are responsible too. We hold crack dealers responsible for the products they bring to the street, tobacco companies are responsible for their products, and automobile companies should be responsible for theirs. Anyone disagree?
But, my point is not to talk about who is responsible, rather it’s to just imagine for a moment. What if Rick Wagoner, the CEO of GM came to the epiphany, that environmental sustainability is important and they actually stopped making Hummers. Could you imagine?
Thousand’s of people have recognized the impact their lifestyle has on the environment and they’ve made changes and advocated for change that is within their power to make. Thousand’s of others have realized the injustice of sweatshops and have made efforts to purchase fair trade clothing and other items. I guess I just wonder, when is a CEO or two going to come around? Is the strangle-hold of wealth that strong?
Imagine if the CEO of GM decided to completely change the company to have environmental sustainability is the bottom line, rather then profits. Imagine if the CEO of Nike decided social justice and fair trade where more important than brand and dollars.
It occured to me the other day when we were driving in the car with the three year old and talking about biking and driving and “saving” gas that I’ve still been buying into this lie.
A while ago I realized how ridiculous it is to come home from a shopping trip and say I “Saved $143.52 today!” The truth is a spent a bunch of money, regardless of how on sale the item I purchased was. That was step one in my reality check.
Today I realized, biking to work doesn’t “save gas” it rather keeps gas from being used that doesn’t need to be used. In the same way, when I choose not to eat red meat (which I grew up not eating), I don’t walk around saying, “I’m saved a pig’s leg and a cow today!”
Very little in my life are necessities, and this is probably true for you as well. I think we can probably make a case for our “need” to go to our job and/or school, and therefore I can understand a “need” to drive to those locations if they aren’t in walking or biking distance.
What I’ve realized though, is I’ve been hoping in my car for far too many “wants.” If using too much gas is a problem, then I need to work on changing my lifestyle and my choices.
That’s I think one of the reasons I find this place the MinusCarProject so inspiring. Here’s the mission statement:
The MinusCar Project exists because I believe people that think that the globe is warming because of human activity, specifically carbon emitting human activity, might be right. Because I think they might be right, I think humans need to change. And because I think humans need to change, I think I need to change.
I’m continuing to read David Allen’s Get Things Done system and I’ve come to a difficult decision point. David makes a few interesting suggestions that make a whole lot of sense. First, he suggestions,especially when starting out, to write one task per individual sheet of paper to put in your inbox. All I’m thinking is “What about all the trees?” I like the idea of writing one idea per notecard too, but then I’d go through a lot of notecards, and even though I have a closet full of them, it just seems like a waste of paper.Along the same paper lines, he suggest using a LOT of manila file folders. Basically being willing to put one sheet of paper in a folder and labeling it and filing it. His reasoning and startegy makes a whole lot of sense, but I keep on worrying about the redwoods. I think I’m writing all of this to just to say that I am going to follow through on his system and just trust the power of recycling over my period of paper consumption.
P.S. This is speaking mainly about work. As for at home I refuse to fully by into the system because it’s going to require too much space. So I’ll be tweaking it a little.
Earth Day is tomorrow and I don’t think enough people know or care about it. So I thought I’d drop a few pictures in that might inspire you a little.
(March 6) Greenpeace protests against bigger deforestation of the last years in the region of Santarém.
In a remote area of the forest, 120 km of Santarém, in Pará, inhabitants of communities in the region and Greenpeace had protested today against the deforestation. The group of 50 people travelled about 5 hours in precarious conditions arriving at an area of 1.650 hectares
totally devastated. There, the group opened a banner of 2.500 square meters with the message “100% Crime” and planted some trees. In accordance with the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural resources, this is the biggest deforestation of the region in last the seven years. (via. Houtlust)