attended another SLAH seminar this evening. Sustainable Living At Home: this week the theme was waste and recycling. oh dear! some of the stats are downright depressing. we heard annie leonard speak on The Story of Stuff. she reminded us that our continuous consumption is robbing the planet of resources.
75% of the world's fisheries are fished out. 80% of the forests are gone (less than 4% of the US is forested). that low! in two decades we have managed to use one third of the world's natural resources. as i said, it is depressing.
the good news is research shows that only 6% of people are inspired to change their behaviours by hearing bad news. 20% can be convinced by data and facts, whilst 70-75% are inspired by conversations with peers. so ignore what you just read in the last paragraph and let's start a conversation!
forget recycling. by then it is already too late. instead avoid consumption unless absolutely necessary. that's what the compacters do. this means persistent attention to every detail of what you buy or use. say no to plastic bags, to packaging. share stuff. borrow and lend rather than buy. simplify your life. we all have too much "stuff". it can become a creative game of ingenuity, working out ways of living lightly on the planet without the addictive consumption patterns that seem to grip us. start to notice it around you. everywhere we go - even so-called "sustainable" events - there are subtle (and not so subtle) exhortations to buy, to consume.
on a lighter note, Nick Dunstan spoke about waste and recycling. We, the residents of the City of Port Phillip have managed to recycle 40% of our waste in the last year. the government would like us to commit to 65% in five years. there's a challenge. and mattresses; i didn't know they could be recycled.
One small action - the juice
finally, one small action we each could take to reduce waste. one person said they'd take their mug downstairs to the cafe for a coffee at work, instead of getting a disposable cup each time. this sustainability idea is not new and Geoff, our SLAH seminar facilitator makes mention of the mug project on his blog.
"The Mug Project is a community of individuals and organisations that advocate the use of the mugs to reduce waste caused by single serve beverage containers".
Hey, i could do that when i go order a juice. In fact, i have been known to take my thermos into the juice bar for a takeaway. i was astonished to learn that some cafes won't serve it to me in my own container. Health & safety regulations don't allow it - apparently. This requires more investigation. Anyone else experienced this?