There are many ways everyone of us can be more eco-efficient - so many ways it can sometimes even be overwhelming.
Just have a look at your food consumption. In order to have an environmentally friendly nutrition one big, impactful thing you can do is say no to that delicious steak and chicken. But if you thought you’re covered because you are vegetarian you might be wrong as well. Dairy products are also top listed for being environmental sinners. So if you substitute cheese for chicken your environmental impact might potentially be the same. And even tofu can have a bigger environmental harm related to the environmental service it is intended to provide.
It can be equally overwhelming and contradicting when it comes to fashion, travel and other parts in our life. So how can we actually do things right? I decided for myself to pick a few simple things that I can easily integrate into my daily life:
Eat less meat, Buy seasonal food and second hand clothes if possible, Recycle waste, Bring reusable bags for shopping, Avoid plane trips, Make the apartment energy efficient (maybe have a second look at your windows if you live in a Berlin Altbau-Apartment)
I totally agree with you. Once you start the calculations on which option might be the most sustainable, you might end up having two products e.g. tofu vs. meat that could have the same impact on the environement. This is because so many different parameters play different roles during harvest, manufacturing, consumption or the usephase itself and finally the disposal. I still think the best way for oneselve is, like you say, pick a few things that make a difference. For me its as well, being vegeterian but also looking at the origin of products that I buy. I guess sometimes the choice is environmentally friendlyer when picking the butter or milk from your region than that of organic production coming from far away. Still, this decision should not only be based on environmental issues but as well on the structures that are supported when choosing the conventional option. The conditions during production or the decisions made by the producer usually affect the life of its environments, the cows or other animals that become products for profit or the workers at the plant.
Buying seasonal food also shows how globalized and international our consumption has become and how much we already rely on it. Who wants to miss all these fruitful smoothies?
I think it is important to not only look for the environmentally best option but also for the greater impact that one can make by choosing in the shops. Just the example one becomes to other people will have a great effect on friends or family and can eventually lead to a greater community which chooses whisely or chooses even to consume less.
My hope is, that this sort of smart consumption becomes cheaper and finally becomes accesable to those that might not have the privilege to choose between lidl and Alnatura or Kik and climate neutral clothing. So far I see the beginning in promoting this lifestyle with the more and more uprising events and ideas on a more sustainable living, includind food sharing, cloths sharing, reparation etc.
Banning plastic bags from shops is finally a first and effective step to create and overall awareness about the problems with non-reusable products. But it by far not enough to also create awareness on problems like littering, recycling and keeping the aquatic bodies clean. Here, new laws and restrictions in production need to be introduced.
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