We have created a climate mess. We are heading straight to disaster unless we accelerate the world’s transition into an economy that is not harmless to our planet.
If you believe this, don’t loose your hope, here are three things that you can do to pull your weight:
REDUCE YOUR USE OF PLASTIC
It is hard, but not THAT hard. Start with the plastic bags at the checkout. Ask for the paper ones. Or even better, opt for the reusable ones. I know, you always forget them in the trunk of the car.
Here is a fix for that (a really easy one):
Keep them there, in the trunk of your car. When you forget to take them to the store, just ask the checkout folks to put everything back in the cart. Then, you just put them in the bags once you get to the car. At first, the folks at the checkout line will look at you like you have two heads, but you’ll get used to it. Think about it, how long do you use bags for? If you live in a suburb and you have to drive to do your shopping, you really only use the bags for a two feet journey from the packing station to a cart, and then another two feet from the cart to your car. The longest trip those bags take, is from the trunk of your car to the pantry. Shopping bags are for places where people walk home with their stuff. The old Amsterdam, and the New Amsterdam. But then, living in Amsterdam has other benefits that we will not be talking about here.
I can’t tell you enough about this method. For some time, I actually kept a big basket in the trunk that I could just fill up and take out in one single swoop.
As a next step, don’t buy any more bottled water. Get a refillable bottle, ask for a glass of water instead, or if you fancy, get the expensive sparkling variety that comes in a glass bottle (which will also make you look classy).
REDUCE YOUR CONSUMPTION OF BEEF
Cattle produces a lot of methane. Also, 77 percent of the more than half of the world’s land resources, are used for the grazing and feed of farmed animals. I am not suggesting that you go vegan immediately, but do you really need to eat beef every day? Just cut it back to once a week. Your contribution will be huge and you will be able to afford the nice, grass-fed variety.
PLANT A TREE
This is something that I realized recently. According to Marc Benioff, trees are “the best carbon capture technology available today”. Every tree captures between 6 and 20 Kg of carbon per year. A person -on the average- produces 1,000 times more. But the effects of planting a tree are cumulative, and have a larger effect than we believe. If we could plant 1 Trillion trees more, we could bring the balance back to pre-industrial levels. Just one tree per US inhabitant would account for 5% of the worldwide carbon emission.
Checkout Marc Benioff’s (CEO Salesforce.com) “1 Trillion Trees” initiative.