By Tracy Brighten
Education, communication and cooperation form the cornerstone from which societies build and improve on past ways of living. Whether knowledge is communicated in schools or universities, through media, or within communities, families and social circles, it can prompt us to question our thinking and our behaviour.
With technology linking us across the world, the connection of people and the communication of ideas is a catalyst for global change. Through the internet, we can exchange problems and find solutions.
We are no longer living in ignorant isolation
We learn by sharing knowledge and experiences, this connectivity expressed powerfully by poet John Donne: “No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent.” We share responsibility for something much greater than our own lives.
We are part of humanity
Non-profit organisations and social entrepreneurs already recognise our social, cultural and environmental responsibility. Awareness is growing among other businesses too as they consider more sustainable and ethical practices.
Sustainable brands are making a bold impression
Wind farms and solar power, bamboo toilet rolls and toothbrushes, polyculture farming, cell-cultured meat, protein powder ‘from thin air’, and biodegradable clothing that expands with growing babies are examples of exciting developments to reduce pollution, deforestation, wildlife extinction, and animal exploitation.
Capitalism at any cost has had its day
Life is a process of transformation as we face new challenges. Scientific discoveries are constantly reshaping the body of human knowledge, giving us the chance to make better choices for sustainable living.
We can all make a difference, not just in our lifetime but to our children’s children.
- We can walk or cycle on short journeys to reduce fuel use and exhaust emissions
- We can reduce single-use plastic to save resources as well as animals at risk from ingestion or entanglement
- We can re-use, re-purpose, or recycle rather than throw away
- We can grow our own produce, join a community farm project, or buy local for good health and less waste
- We can think (even stop!) before we shop, saving time and money, and reducing pollution and landfill
- We can find out where our food comes from, supporting local producers and traditional farmers rather than corporate giants and animal factories
- We can eat less meat and dairy and more plant-based foods to reduce the health problems, environmental degradation and animal cruelty associated with intensive animal farming.
If we hold governments and businesses solely responsible for human health and environmental issues, we’re passing the buck and making excuses for our apathy. Instead, we can take conscious control of our lives, starting with small steps that become greater strides.
Making greener consumer choices has rewards
We can eat real food, enjoy cleaner air, soil, rivers, and oceans, and take comfort that we’re living more responsibly.
“No man is an island.” We can learn together, share ideas and create change. Through communication, we can connect and be that continent.
Have you changed any aspect of your lifestyle as a result of new information? Are you influenced more by people you meet, or online communication, or books or newspapers?
You might like to read an inspirational blog by Lindsay Miles about her journey towards a zero-waste lifestyle. In Treading My Own Path, Lindsay is supportive and encouraging of readers whether they’re just beginning their waste reduction journey or sharing their own tips and successes with others.
If you would like to know more about sustainable farming, Compassion in World Farming campaigns for farming systems with the highest animal welfare and the least impact on wildlife and the environment.
If you aren’t familiar with Twitter, it’s a great platform for connecting with like-minded people and organisations, as well as following news on sustainable living.
Image credit: Pixabay
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