BEYOND THE BIN BAG
These past weeks, you made progress towards more sustainable consumption habits – that hopefully increased your well-being too. It might take a few more weeks to see a clear and lasting impact on your bin bag – but you will get there!
However, you might have also realised how much waste we create overall and how difficult it is to reduce it. It might have led you to question our way of life and how our economies are organised. How come activities that endanger our planet are often more accessible and cheaper than nature-friendly activities? Take for instance the plane vs. the train; nonorganic vs. organic food; packaged food or cleaning products vs. bulk or refillable products; buying new digital device vs. getting one repaired. The unsustainable options are often easier to get or cheaper than the sustainable ones.
When the system favours short-term objectives, enables prices that do not reflect the true cost of natural materials or disposal, we endanger our future. Isn’t it high time to change this? Our current production and consumption patterns have led to three major environmental crises that threaten our viability as species: climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution. We are overexploiting and degrading the environment, using the atmosphere and the oceans as dumping grounds for our waste.
Governments and businesses have the power to design and implement solutions to these three environmental crises. As citizens and consumers, we need to join together to demand political change and improved business practices.
Our individual choices do matter. They save energy and resources. They build companies’ incentives to be greener. They inspire other people to do the same. They make us feel good. Taking action to be more sustainable in our everyday life is absolutely worth doing.
The way we consume reflects but also reinforces our priorities. If you embarked on a waste-lite path, you want to make it easier for you to sustain it, for others to join in, and it makes you a more credible advocate for change.
So you are on the right path! Your work is not done though. Not only should you sustain the changes, but you can also improve other habits and you can demand political and business change.
This week, we will briefly cover a few more changes you can undertake personally, that go beyond your bin bag, and we will share ideas of how, beyond your personal consumption, you can call for action for your community, businesses and country to adopt more sustainable behaviours.
As individuals, there is only so much we can do. But together, we are powerful. Let’s change the world!
CONGRATS FOR GETTING UP TO HERE! YOU SHOULD CELEBRATE!
FEEL GOOD ABOUT EVERY STEP YOU TAKE
Even if you are not doing it all.
Changing our habits can be overwhelming at first. You might already have this feeling just after reading this far! It can also be frustrating, as you won’t get exactly what you’ve been used to, and as there is so much to change before it has a visible impact. Changing our habits isn't always possible and depends on a lot of factors we can't always influence.
But changing one habit at a time is the only way to do it. Don’t aim for an overnight journey to zero waste. That will not happen – and you will just return to your old habits, finding zero waste too hard.
Take it easy, set ambitious yet achievable goals. Just start – and you are a person who is taking action! Feel good about every one of your efforts, celebrate even the smallest change. It will be much easier to take the next step. And the next one.
Cutting down waste means stopping to buy things we do not really need - avoid shopping to soothe or treat ourselves, to keep up with the Joneses or to distract ourselves from boredom. But do keep the things you cherish and that bring you true joy. Cutting down waste isn’t all about depriving ourselves – it is rather about reducing our physical and mental clutter.
Reframe this change in your head as a move towards simplification. You can check the Netflix series with Mari Kondo, to see how decluttering can impact lives, well beyond our closets, or watch Graham Hill, talk about how less stuff bring more time, and reduce our environment footprint.