Khr

How can a regular person help the environment?

20 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hi all,

Recently I have been noticing more and more natural disasters/unusual weather patterns happening in Canada as well as my home country. I’ve been living in Canada for 13 years and this is the first time we’ve had forest fires this big here in Ontario. Today the smog level in Toronto has been second highest compared to all the other cities in the world. A few days ago we had a tornado here as well - first one I’ve ever seen in my life. In my home country there have been insane floods, storms like they haven’t seen before. 
 

So I was wondering, how can an average person make sure they are doing their best to help the environment? Some of the things I currently do are: Drive only when necessary, do all my groceries by foot (I have a big backpack that I use), always recycle and use compost bin with bio degradable bags, buy natural personal care products/house cleaning products (soaps/detergents) to cause less water pollution, re-use plastic drinking bottles, re-use plastic bags, buy organic foods. I would love to hear your ideas.

It also hurts me that everything I buy in the store comes in either plastic containers, cardboard containers - like why does a toothpaste need a cardboard box (I mean it’s easier to store, but who cares…), why is it that when you buy a USB stick, for example, it’s going to be wrapped up all around in plastic 10 times it’s size… I am a single person living alone, and almost every day I throw out a bag of garbage on average..

Edited by Khr

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20 minutes ago, Khr said:

Hi all,

Recently I have been noticing more and more natural disasters/unusual weather patterns happening in Canada as well as my home country. I’ve been living in Canada for 13 years and this is the first time we’ve had forest fires this big here in Ontario. Today the smog level in Toronto has been second highest compared to all the other cities in the world. A few days ago we had a tornado here as well - first one I’ve ever seen in my life. In my home country there have been insane floods, storms like they haven’t seen before. 
 

So I was wondering, how can an average person make sure they are doing their best to help the environment? Some of the things I currently do are: Drive only when necessary, do all my groceries by foot (I have a big backpack that I use), always recycle and use compost bin with bio degradable bags, buy natural personal care products/house cleaning products (soaps/detergents) to cause less water pollution, re-use plastic drinking bottles, re-use plastic bags, buy organic foods. I would love to hear your ideas.

It also hurts me that everything I buy in the store comes in either plastic containers, cardboard containers - like why does a toothpaste need a cardboard box (I mean it’s easier to store, but who cares…), why is it that when you buy a USB stick, for example, it’s going to be wrapped up all around in plastic 10 times it’s size… I am a single person living alone, and almost every day I throw out a bag of garbage on average..

All things I am trying to figure out as well. The systems we need to change are the hardest to do so.

I sometimes don't feel hopeful that anything can be done on the individual level. Are we too far gone to turn this ship around? Humans can't even agree on the most basic of things... I hope we can pivot towards a green and holistic future. 

I am in Nova Scotia and I find that each summer is hotter and hotter I can't enjoy going outside except for early morning and late at night. My friends from India say they can't leave the house during the day and if they do it is dangerous


"Now here's the Sun and it's alright, Now here's the Moon and It's alright..But every-time you close your eyes... Lies" -Arcade Fire Rebellion

Personal Growth Vlog - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzVkdPNRrNT7SN1aoco2MdA

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, Thought Art said:

I sometimes don't feel hopeful that anything can be done on the individual level

I don’t believe in that. The population of the world is ~8 billion, if even 50% of people become more mindful of their waste, their lifestyle, it’s all a matter of education. Everything always begins with individuals. 
 

But I see what you’re saying, you can’t make anyone do anything. That is why I believe we can start with ourselves, make sure that we are doing our best, then the rest will follow. 

Edited by Khr

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This is a systemic collective problem, not an individual one.

Do what you feel is right in your personal life, but it's not going to solve the problem at all.

If you really care about solving the problem then you gotta work on it at a systems level.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Posted (edited)

46 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

This is a systemic collective problem, not an individual one.

Do what you feel is right in your personal life, but it's not going to solve the problem at all.

If you really care about solving the problem then you gotta work on it at a systems level.

You’re wrong about that. The butterfly effect phenomena is strong in this world. Many major big movements in the world started either with some parent raising their kid properly, or pissing off their kid, a person of power hearing/learning/meeting something/someone that would change their worldview forever, small things happening at the right time. You know that. 

Of course it would be much easier if we could “just get governments/big corporations on board”. But if we can’t do that, we should do whatever we can. Who knows maybe one day one of us will end up becoming/marrying a big CEO or a politician, or our kids will grow up to have a major influence. Collective starts with an individual. I am not saying to live ones life losing sleep over a plastic bottle they didn’t recycle, but live better, make caring for the environment to be of second nature - the little things I do don’t bother me at all and are natural to me. 

Edited by Khr

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8 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

This is a systemic collective problem, not an individual one.

Do what you feel is right in your personal life, but it's not going to solve the problem at all.

If you really care about solving the problem then you gotta work on it at a systems level.

The Energy Web Foundation is a stage yellow solution to this collective problem, truly mindblowing what they're doing. Energyweb.org


‘The water in which the mystic swims is the water in which a madman drowns. --Joseph Campbell

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Posted (edited)

Live minimalist. Consume less.   One irony of the elites is they want us to be more green, yet still need us to consume because without liquidity and economic activity they can't afford all these social programs, so they will still demonize savers and promote consumption at the cost of carbon emissions.

Edited by sholomar

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Posted (edited)

On 7/21/2021 at 9:31 AM, Windappreciator said:

By going vegan.

Doesn't even have to go that far. 

A larger number of people adopting a Flexitarian type of diet which dramatically cuts down on the amount of animal products they consume would arguably do more for ecological sustainability than a much smaller subset of strict vegans.

 

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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10 hours ago, DocWatts said:

Doesn't even have to go that far. 

A larger number of people adopting a Flexitarian type of diet which dramatically cuts down on the amount of animal products they consume would arguably do more for ecological sustainability than a much smaller subset of strict vegans.

 

Mental gymnastics

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On 20/07/2021 at 1:50 PM, Khr said:

You’re wrong about that. The butterfly effect phenomena is strong in this world. Many major big movements in the world started either with some parent raising their kid properly, or pissing off their kid, a person of power hearing/learning/meeting something/someone that would change their worldview forever, small things happening at the right time. You know that. 

Of course it would be much easier if we could “just get governments/big corporations on board”. But if we can’t do that, we should do whatever we can. Who knows maybe one day one of us will end up becoming/marrying a big CEO or a politician, or our kids will grow up to have a major influence. Collective starts with an individual. I am not saying to live ones life losing sleep over a plastic bottle they didn’t recycle, but live better, make caring for the environment to be of second nature - the little things I do don’t bother me at all and are natural to me. 

Solving a systemic issue does not mean "getting governments to do it" it means understanding the system in play and finding a solution for it.

Yes, you as an individual can have a big impact and if you find a solution that doesn't just patch the problem temporarily but actually changes the system, it's a systemic solution.

For instance you could find out that a big factor that keeps corrupted official elected are an ignorant and misinformed population and by creating videos on youtube that actually give the information, you can actually help solve the systemic issue. 

The point is not that you should stop trying as an individual, but simply that you should focus on fixing the source of the issue rather than suffering the symptoms. You can pick up plastic on the beach but there's little reason to do so if for every bottle you pick up 5 more gets poured in every second.

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Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Windappreciator said:

Mental gymnastics

That depends on whether your approach to an Vegetarianism/Veganism, or just environmentalism more broadly, is about Moral Purity or whether it's about Harm Reduction.

Assuming you want to actually get something accomplished (rather than just congratulating yourself on your ethical decisions), Harm Reduction seems like the obvious choice.

A time may come where switching to Veganism either becomes unavoidable (because of a Climate Apocalypse that results in Animal products being unavailable to most people) or becomes much less of a substantial lifestyle change (due to universal availability of alternatives to animal products), or both. Until that time, you have to be able to meet people where they're at...

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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Posted (edited)

@DocWatts One doesn't need vegan animal products alternatives.

Vegan diets have the lowest environmental impact and it's something most people can do personally.

Edited by Windappreciator

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Posted (edited)

17 minutes ago, Windappreciator said:

@DocWatts One doesn't need vegan animal products alternatives.

Vegan diets have the lowest environmental impact and it's something most people can do personally.

Not arguing against Veganism, but the assumption that most people can switch to a Vegan diet is built on a number of implicit assumptions, as simple as being affluent enough for a Vegan diet to be something that's actually  achievable in the first place.

Good luck trying maintain a Vegan diet if you're living in a Food Dessert, or don't have enough time and energy to prepare meals because you're working multiple jobs to keep a roof over your head.

Which sadly is exactly the situation for large number of people here in the 'States.

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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Posted (edited)

@DocWatts

Most people have the time to cook some rice and beans. And I am pretty sure the thread starter does too. It's not hard to eat vegan, really.

What is a food desert? 

Edited by Windappreciator

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14 minutes ago, Windappreciator said:

@DocWatts

I don't prepare my food and most people have the time to cook some rice and beans. And I am pretty sure the thread starter does too. It's not hard to eat vegan, really.

What is a food desert? 

Here in the States, food deserts refer to low income areas where there's not a Grocery Store nearby, and thus residents living in these areas don't have access to healthy and affordable food.

Imagine having to buy your all of your Groceries from an overpriced Gas Station around the corner, because you don't have access to a car and the public transportation that's available is highly limited.


"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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@DocWatts

I think this is mostly an American problem. most countries outside of the US actually go with a veggies rather than meat or diary product, simply because it's cheap. 
I have no Idea (and would love to know) why in a country with such big area it's so damn pricy to buy vegetables!

Other countries around the world has smaller areas, and they simply have a better diet just because they can't buy meat, and if they do its a luxury food item reserved for occasions. 

Because it hard and pricy to raise cattle, and it takes a huge area to raise (cattle don't sit in place like veggies do!) and a long time to grow to the right age of slather.

I think it's not sustainable to keep making food out of animals for long time. but hey just cramp up animals in small place like Americans do and call that a solution *face-palm*

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Happy Lizard said:

@DocWatts

I think this is mostly an American problem. most countries outside of the US actually go with a veggies rather than meat or diary product, simply because it's cheap. 
I have no Idea (and would love to know) why in a country with such big area it's so damn pricy to buy vegetables!

Other countries around the world has smaller areas, and they simply have a better diet just because they can't buy meat, and if they do its a luxury food item reserved for occasions. 

Because it hard and pricy to raise cattle, and it takes a huge area to raise (cattle don't sit in place like veggies do!) and a long time to grow to the right age of slather.

I think it's not sustainable to keep making food out of animals for long time. but hey just cramp up animals in small place like Americans do and call that a solution *face-palm*

Yeah America has the more sensible system you described exactly backwards. It's far cheaper and easier to eat processed garbage (which includes factory farmed meat/animal products).

The result of which is that SD-Green communities where being a  Vegetarian or Vegan is much easier also tend to be more affluent than much of the rest of the country.

Trying to be a Vegan in inner city Detroit or rural Kentucky, while not impossible, is far more difficult when there's not infrastructure in place to accommodate a more conscious lifestyle.

Edited by DocWatts

"The mind is inherently embodied.
Thought is mostly unconscious.
Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical." - George Lakoff

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On 7/24/2021 at 0:22 AM, Windappreciator said:

@DocWatts One doesn't need vegan animal products alternatives.

Vegan diets have the lowest environmental impact and it's something most people can do personally.

you might want to rethink that position


‘The water in which the mystic swims is the water in which a madman drowns. --Joseph Campbell

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, montecristo said:

you might want to rethink that position

You might want to rethink yours.

How do you like that, huh?

Edited by Windappreciator

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