S'up fellas! I'm Mikey the Monkey and even though I live in the jungle, you'll see me whizzing around on my e-scooter..yeah! It's a lot easier on the arms than swinging from tree to tree, ya know?!
I used to live my life without much thought as to how my choices and actions affect the environment. It wasn't that I didn't care, but more that I didn't think that the actions of one little monkey would make such a big difference, the world is so big right?
My mindset completely changed though when I started reading lots of books and watching documentaries such as Living the Change and The Green Lie. I then became curious (like my cousin Curious George!) about my own ecological footprint. With a few easy clicks I did the online environmental footprint calculator to get a rough idea...and boy was I shocked! It said, if everyone lived like me, we would need 4 earths! I decided from then on to change my lifestyle and I became more ecologically aware of my actions, choices and personal habits.
The clock is ticking and we don't have time for any more monkey business!
Whats the story?
The enormous ecological consequences of our daily actions are becoming more and more obvious: landfills are overflowing, worldwide wildlife populations are drastically declining, chemical pollution is everywhere, and our oceans and waterways are ravaged with waste and effluents. Every human activity eventually emits waste back into the atmosphere, the waterways and the ground. The true cost of our consumption and lifestyles (especially in developed nations) has been ignored for decades, and the ecological costs of globalisation are rarely considered in the cost of products and services.
We can visualise the cycle of natural sources in the illustration below. Unlike a circular economy, where the aim to minimise waste and reuse as much as possible, our current global economic systems extract natural sources converts them into energy or products (for financial gain) and the end up back in the ground or air as pollution. Throw away culture..
Natural sources & sinks by Jon Gilbert (2019)
So what is Green Living?
Green living is about embracing a lifestyle that respects nature and mindfully thinks about the use and conservation of the earth's natural resources, wildlife habitats and biodiversity so that we live harmoniously and more consciously with nature.
Where do I start?
We can change our mindset so that we care so much for our planet and the life on it that it is in our daily thoughts to minimise our impact on the consumption of earths natural resources and the waste/ pollution we all personally emit.
Buy organic to reduce the amount of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in our water and food.
Transition to a plant-based diet. See the Vegan section for a starter guide and recipes.
Prepare food at home and use reusable containers instead of buying takeaway food in throwaway packaging.
Buy local & seasonal, if possible directly from farmers.
Prevent food waste! Support initiatives that sell 'ugly' fruit & veg.
Reduce the amount of flying per year.
Use trains, trams and buses more often.
Cycle or walk more often.
If possible, go car-free or use car sharing.
If you need a car, consider going hybrid or electric.
Overall, drive less, drive slower, use brakes more gently.