One of my big passions is getting my behaviours in line with my desire to do everything I can to have a positive effect on the health of the planet I live on.
Since I already feel like global warming is melting the inside of my head with the intensely hot summer we’re having in Brisbane, my motivation to have some kind of impact on reducing global warming, even in my own small way, has reached a potent level!!
What are some of the choices I’ve made you may ask? Do you regularly buy a takeaway coffee? I do. I’ve bought a colourful ‘Keep’ cup to have my takeaway coffee in. They come in all different sizes too. Cafes are happy to make your coffee in your cup because it saves them money buying disposable takeaway cups. I have forgotten my cup a few times but eventually it becomes a habit. How many cafes actually have these for sale? Not many is the answer. You have to get them from a kitchen shop or buy online. My question is why isn’t everyone doing this? Less waste, less landfill.
And still on the subject of coffee, I’ve read coffee pods take 150 to 500 years to break down, and have heard disposable pods fill as much as the equivalent of 2 olympic size swimming pools a week here in Australia.
After hearing that statistic I felt mortified that I, with my pod using coffee machine, was contributing to that statistic and went back to my stove top coffee maker. Certainly the statistics from 2016 stated we here in Australia, create the equivalent of an olympic swimming pool of waste from discarded coffee pods PER FORTNIGHT. Yes, there is a recycling program offered by one company, but how many people with busy lives package them up and send them back? Even though you may put your pods in the recycle bin, were you aware the waste companies sieve mechanism has holes too large to catch the pods. And as they are made of 3 things usually, they are grounds, plastic and aluminium, they’re considered too fiddly to take apart to recycle. So they end up in landfill, contributing to what is considered now to be an environmental disaster. To my knowledge there is one specialist recycler in Australia but you have to ensure your pods get to them (Terra Cycle.)
What can You do today?
How about where you shop? For example the supermarket provides organic unprocessed sugar (the best kind) from Colombia. Flown thousands of miles here by plane. How about those carbon miles transporting it here, that contribute to global warming? Do we really need Colombian sugar? Nothing against the Colombians, but we grow sugar cane right here in Queensland, so why aren’t we getting it from them?
I also choose to spend my shopping dollars consciously and support local producers by shopping at my local market.
How about your last bacon and egg sandwich, or eggs bene at a cafe, or the creamy scrambled eggs on hot toast you made the other day? How do you choose your eggs?
For me the choice is simple. After seeing the poor deformed creatures that are kept in wire cages and forced to lay twice a day, I only ever buy free range eggs. Their legs and feet are so deformed from being kept in a cramped wire cage they can barely walk. Do you think it does your body good eating the egg of a miserable creature? I personally choose to source my food knowing the creature it has come from is being treated humanely.
Last month when returning to Brisbane from the Sunshine coast I passed a big transporter truck filled with cages of white chickens. There was no side on the truck and the wind from travelling at 110 km per hour was flattening them against the wire of their cages as there was no side cover on the truck. I’m assuming they were the 18 month old chickens off for the chop as they can no longer lay twice a day. This is the chicken that ends up on your plate. How good for you do you think that food is? What are we doing as a race to the other creatures we share the planet with? I find this absolutely despicable behaviour. I do and will only ever buy free range chicken.
And on the subject of food, did you know that a person dies every 6 seconds on our earth from malnutrition? This is truly a disgrace and something we surely must do something about? I for one am joining a recently discovered organisation called B1G1. You can have some impact DAILY on the lives of less fortunate people even by donating 1 cent. Yep, 1 cent. This is true and I encourage you to check it out. This organisation has a 3 year criteria for scrutinising its charities to ensure their authenticity. Imagine the great feeling of helping out others even when you may not have much yourself? I’m excited about it.
How about your car? Is it a status symbol or did you choose it for the amount of carbon emissions? Since you probably drive it every day wouldn’t this surely constitute part of your choice? For us Australians wiping the sweat off our brows as our super hot summer drags on, do we ever think that our choice of car contributes directly to global warming and how hot we feel today? Wouldn’t you love to feel feel like you had some iota of influence on how hot the temperature is? Well you can. By choosing a car with low carbon emissions, or, even better, ride a bike! Having said that, I don’t ride a bike to work, but I really admire those who do. For me, my wish list car is a Tesler. A completely battery powered car, but designed almost from scratch with many of its components redesigned by tech whizzes in order to be lighter and more efficient. Hybrids are worth considering and certainly the car manufacturers have woken up and are providing better options now for the car driving public. I believe that Volvo is now committed to making all their cars battery powered by 2020.
I understand in Canada there is a big movement by consumers who shop consciously by choosing to spend with those companies who focus on clean energy, their environmental impact, and who implement sustainable practices. The Canadian Green 30 is all about environmental stewardship and I feel we should all give some thought to who we choose to do business with. Are we making an informed choice with our purchases? Have you thought about what are your criteria? What one thing could you start doing from today that would make a difference? And then next month what is the next thing? Can we commit to making one change a month in the way we do things that will make a difference even in some small way?