What can we do to lessen the detrimental impact of our consumer based lives on this small blue planet hurtling through space, our sole source of nourishment and life?
It seems like a reasonable question to ask on Earth Day and one I’m almost constantly pondering lately. It’s basically a rabbit hole. The more you look, the deeper you go, the more there is to do, or undo. It’s overwhelming, but it seems pretty clear that we don’t really have a choice. I love to explore new places, but what’s the environmental cost of that indulgence? I appreciate two skiers/filmmakers who attempt to confront the question in this thought-provoking short film:
Another huge issue: plastic. As if large plastics in oceans, rivers and streams choking the wildlife weren’t bad enough (bottles, nets, toys etc) disturbing studies also reveal high levels of plastic microfibers, including in our drinking water. As it turns out my good ol’ fleece jacket – which keeps me warm on cold nights sitting by a campfire as I listen to the wind in the trees – sheds a significant amount of microfiber each time I wash it. I’ve bought a Guppyfriend bag in an effort to address this problem, use only cold water and less detergent (mitigating the wear on fabric) and wash my synthetics less often – but that’s only a tiny part of the solution. I look for fair-trade, pesticide-free, natural fiber clothing, but apart from a few select suppliers and stores – which are often quite expensive – it isn’t always that easy, for now at any rate. I think I may have to learn to knit.
Back to the bigger plastics, such as packaging. We’ve been sourcing stores and markets where we can refill our containers. This has been somewhat successful as we haven’t bought bags or containers of rice, oats, flour, body lotion and laundry soap for a few weeks now. We’ve bought glass jars for dried food and have been using the original containers for laundry, dish soap and body lotion – at least it delays recycling the containers for longer.
I’m not sure how much good I’m doing, it feels like a drop in the ocean – so to speak – but you have to start somewhere.
Time we planted a tree.
Happy Earth Day.
4 thoughts on “Our daily impact on the planet”
Great post and great video, I struggle with this so much on so many levels. 15 years ago when I decided to buy a private jet for my dog my friends thought I was eccentric. A year later when I became an accidental tree hugger and walked away in search of a tiny life, the thought I was insane. Perception is a double edged sward. The more we learn the less we feel in control of making a difference but we do it anyways…
Thank you Stormy,
Glad you liked the video, I thought it was excellent too. I hope more people have the chance to watch it. It is a constant struggle and double-edged sword. We often appreciate nature/wilderness more when we get out into it, and we will try to protect what we love….but often the cost of getting out there can be huge, environmentally speaking. As you start to look into one area where you might make a difference, it branches out into so many other tributaries. I feel disheartened sometimes but that’s not going to help, just gotta keep trying I think.
This year I started refilling every domestic liquid I could refill and feel much better for it. No point getting evangelical but it means I can look myself in the eye.
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I feel the same way!