Are you aware of the impact your shopping choices may have on the environment? Many people don’t realize the tremendous impact that agriculture and the production of food have on the environment, or that they can help lessen that impact with their purchasing decisions. Here’s a closer look at this issue.
It’s easy to adopt sustainable habits that naturally lend themselves to your current living situation. If you live in the country, you can have a garden. If you’re in the city, you can bike to work. If you live alone, you can keep the thermostat at a brisk 60 degrees.
However, if you want to truly live sustainably, it’s important to look beyond your current dwelling. After all, you never know what the future may hold. You may find yourself sharing living space or moving from an urban to a rural area or vice versa. Here are several ways that you can establish sustainable habits regardless of your current living scenario.
In 2009, South Korea did something remarkable. The country poured 2% of its GDP, some $38.1 billion, into environmental projects, hoping to create one million green jobs over the next five years. The goal was to spur growth in a slumping economy while simultaneously creating a low carbon society. In one sense, the plan worked. South Korea’s economic system did eventually recover, but in a more important sense, the plan failed. From 2009 to 2014, Korea’s emissions rose 11.8%. So, despite massive investments in clean energy, railway expansion, and energy efficiency, South Korea’s emissions still climbed.
So what happened? Why didn’t South Korea’s green growth strategy work? The video below (by Our Changing Climate) will answer that question and more in order to understand one of the insidious spectres that haunts the green energy revolution: consumption.
Modern life can be chaotic, so it’s no wonder that science and commerce have teamed up to provide us with no-fuss products to help the day pass smoothly. Unfortunately, the environmental toll of some of these innovations can be enormous. It’s no wonder that eco-conscious governments and municipalities are using legislation to temper the damage we’re inflicting on our planet.
In Europe, banned items range from the mundane to the ridiculous: guidelines set by the EU have made high-powered (and underperforming) vacuum cleaners a thing of the past, while the French have outlawed the farming of domestic frog legs. Bangladesh was the first nation to ban plastic shopping bags, way back in 2002.
“When industry talks about “zero waste”, the goal is to send nothing besides hazardous waste to landfill. To achieve this, materials that previously would have been thrown away are recycled, repurposed or even designed out from the beginning. Simple enough. But is that what actually happens and do consumers even care?” – Sarah LaBrecque