These days we are constantly being advised to increase our environmental awareness, and quite rightly so, too. Few people are going to enjoy living in a world where many of the biggest cities are flooded and uninhabitable so that the remaining towns are crowded with the people who were forced to move out of those cities. A world where very few people are not struggling to feed their families and where severe weather conditions often cause havoc and deaths.
As a single individual I can not change the way things are going, I can not make a significant difference to the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere or the amount of non degradable waste being dumped across the surface of the planet. That is an undeniable fact. But can I, as an individual, play a significant part in changing enough people’s behaviour to make a real difference? In all probability the people I could influence would be only those who were already inclined towards environmental awareness and taking social action.
If I could, hypothetically, persuade a hundred people to change their behaviour in such a way as to reduce their carbon footprint or other forms of environmental damage, and each of my like minded friends could do the same, the hundreds or even thousands of people that we could persuade to change their lives would be a completely insignificant number among the world’s seven billion. Therefore I might just as well make the most of my life while I still can. I might as well save a bit of money before it loses its value and enjoy a holiday in Cyprus. Apparently that island is well worth a visit. Spending a week or two there would help the local economy and they do need it… But wait a minute.
If I one day have grandchildren, as seems likely, and if they grow up to ask me what I did to reduce the global warming and so on, will I be able to hold my head up as I answer? I mean it is not as if nobody is trying to change the way things are going. There are indeed many thousands of people doing as much as they can. Are they completely wasting their time? What exactly are they doing?
- Installing solar panels
- Reusing waste water
- Rejecting plastic packaging
- Growing food and buying local produce
- Cycling where practical
Solar panels not only reduce our carbon footprints by reducing the amount of electricity that we need to take from the power grid, they also save us money in the long run and make us independent in the event of power cuts or shortages. A lack of fresh water supplies is also among the environmentalists’ major concerns. By using our waste water for watering plants and also collecting rain water for the same purpose, we can greatly reduce the volume of treated water that we take from the mains supply. A huge proportion of the food available in supermarkets is processed and packaged in plastic. The processing not only uses energy from fossil fuels but there is compelling energy that processed meats are carcinogenic. On top of this, the packaging is made from oil and will take hundreds of years to break down. If these are not enough reasons to abandon your food consumption habits, consider the amount of fossil fuels used to transport the food from the farm to the processing factory, from the factory to the wholesale warehouse and from there to the retail outlet. This often adds up to thousands of kilometres.
Localise Your Lifestyle
If you have a garden, even only a small one, you may be very surprised to discover how much of your own food it is possible to produce through permaculture. For starters, you can put most of your biodegradable waste into a compost bin. That means fruit, vegetables, bread, rice, any plant cuttings, tea bags and tissues, but meat is not a good idea for compost. Do some research online if you are interested, you can use that compost to help you grow varieties of fruit, vegetables, legumes and beans all together in a limited space by growing some of them up some trellises.
Some of the people who are trying to prepare for the economic doom they foresee, as well as reducing their impact on the environment, take some of the food that they grow in their gardens to a local market and exchange some of what they have grown for some of what other locals have grown. This greatly reduces the amount of transportation of food required for their consumption. If these people manage to find local occupations then their need of private cars is gone. They can cycle to and from work, to and from the market, and perhaps use public transport for the occasional trip to the city. The cycling helps the environment, helps their personal finances and helps to keep them physically healthy, too.
This article was written by Ted Hunter on behalf of Travel Republic. Travel Republic offers some of the best Holidays to Cyprus available. Ted is a keen blogger and enjoys writing about a range of topics.