The Imperfect Environmentalist by Sara Gilbert
Of course, it is generally better to buy the green product (not always though - you need to do your own research). But are green products really making a difference?
After all, it is still a 'product' that required energy to be manufactured and transported, with some sort of packaging that will need to be disposed of, as well as the eventual disposal of the product. Recycling is better than not recycling, but it uses an exorbitant amount of energy and it is unclear as to whether this outweighs the benefits.
Thus, not consuming at all, if possible, is preferable to choosing a green product.
It is, particularly as we are conditioned to feel that consumption is 'necessary' to keep our economy moving. But we are way beyond the 'green products will save our planet' stage. It is simply not enough. We must accept that substituting a green way of doing something is not going to be enough. We will not be able to convert all our oil/coal/gas energy consumption to a sustainable model. Instead we must accept that we must reduce our energy usage, and reduce it drastically. I would say, to 20% or less of our current usage levels. We must accept that we will need to return to the village model of living, where our needs are met locally, very locally.
The actions that I feel are the most important/ useful would be:
- Grow your own food. Establish an orchard, learn how to save seeds, make compost and fertilizers, assume that you will not be able to buy any of the gardening products you purchase now.
- Establish an alternative fuel source. Plant a woodlot and install a wood stove for cooking, with a hot water heating capacity.
- Learn food preservation techniques, such as canning, fermenting, drying, etc.
- Establish a water collection and storage system. After all, it falls out of the sky all the time!
- Determine what livestock you are comfortable with and learn about their care, processing, etc.
- Stock up on items that may not be available in the future. This is really a short-term strategy; it is way more important to learn to do for ourselves.
Think of the necessities of life and work on them first - water, food, shelter, health.
Clothing is where my plans fall down at the moment. Wool, no problem - I have sheep and know how to process from fleece to yarn or fabric. However, cotton or something similar is more difficult. Has anyone had any successes with fabric for clothing?
I would love to hear your thoughts and what you are doing. Do you have support or does everyone you know think you are slightly crazy?