Do you ever wonder if your ‘sustainable choices’ are actually sustainable?
I know the most sustainable thing is not to buy anything.
But what if you really had to get something ? Or do something ? What about daily needs like food ?
When thinking about sustainability of something we need to think about the different layers
And this means not only ‘the thing’ itself , but also the components that make ‘the thing’ up . The context in which it was made .
What do I mean by it ?
That maybe even the greenest of companies will make something that truly is not eco friendly.
And it may not even be the company’s fault
I realise this post is being a bit cryptic, but i am trying to mimic the crypticity of today’s world - where someone higher up thinks is better/ easier to leave us in the dark.
In a world where companies are pushed to make ‘greener packaging’ and use ‘sustainable materials’ (most of which is greenwashing anyway) and it’s become cool to call your product the first ‘carbon neutral’ product - it is essential to understand that it is not just the product itself that matters but all that happens pre/during production - such as energy needs to make a product and all that happens post production such as waste management .
It is common for companies to do a ‘lca’ or life cycle assessment - this is the way of seeing the footprint of a given product , from origin to delivery. But here is a little trick: the choice of how far back (or forward) to go is arbitrary.. so one might end up thinking it is greener than it actually is
Now, let’s for a moment assume lcas are done well - it appears that in most cases energy use is the biggest ‘impact’.
This goes from aquaponics, something that may be viewed as a very ‘sustainable’, to glass production, that can be seen as ‘art’ , and many other industries that simply by making things require energy.
I will go into more details on this and LCA in the future, as I don’t want to bore you with details already, but simply get to one of the points I wanted to make - we cannot ignore energy production in our talks of sustainability.
But while ‘renewables’ pop here and there in various ‘green deals’ and policies , energy choices are rarely well explicated (i would love to see it on packages for example, not just from the few companies that take pride, but all of them, even the ones using not renewables and in what percentages). It should be transparent.
From a personal struggle experience, I also think that it should be obligatory for the providers to make it easier for a consumer (yes, even a single consumer) to choose and to change provider. And I would love it for the National provider, yes the one that is meant to be less ‘privatised’ to actually step up in the renewable directions. It should not be on people shoulder to go crazy and waste a lot of time to ‘make the right choice’ - it should be made simple, for the sake of human existence.
Moral of the story, I think is necessary for ‘Energy’ to be up there in the news and up there in the talks of what’s sustainable and what’s not. We are making progress, but maybe it will not be a reusable straw or a cotton bag the key to save the planet - especially if those are made from energy that still comes from coal (Yes, we still have coal. in 2020. madness right?)
If activism can be a lot of things, i am asking all of my activist friends and followers to step up to the challenge and discuss energy choices, writing letters to respective governments and really push for change with policies.
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