Do Less To Save The Earth

Jonathan Jones 22/07/2021 2 minute read

Only by choosing organically grown plant-based foods in preference to meat and dairy, switching from fossil fuels to green energy alternatives, making, buying, travelling and, more controversially, populating less, can there be a meaningful prospect of humans avoiding irreversible harms to life on Earth.

These conclusions, albeit with various degrees of emphasis, are now promulgated by many leading scientists, environmental activists, journalists and politicians.

It is mainly those with vested political and business interests that seriously contend the urgent need for action on all these fronts, if real solutions to the global warming and biodiversity crises are to be found.

Make most impact now

The single biggest positive environmental impact that people are able to make right now is to become vegan. If this is too radical an option for many, the second most influential action they can take is to more frequently replace the habitual consumption of meat and dairy with plant-based foods.

A personal commitment to lead an eco-friendly vegan life is often compromised by the way Western economies are structured to deliver growth. It can also be frustrated by the complexities of the sourcing, manufacturing and supply-chain processes. Slick product sales messages also lead to confusion forcing the consumer to scrutinise product labels and question claims.

However, we can all support companies that are genuinely implementing planet-aware policies. While it is plain for all to see that we simply manufacture and acquire too many items, those companies that are improving product longevity, reducing their use of plastic, minimising waste, enhancing recyclability and sourcing sustainable and healthy raw materials, do deserve credit.

Waiting is not an option

It is not an option to simply wait for the considerable infrastructure and economic adjustments that are required worldwide, if climate change is to be reversed and further loss of biodiversity prevented.

Leaders of individual countries, including the UK, are already helping to make a difference locally. Improving air quality, reducing waste, providing greener public spaces and encouraging healthier diets, are all relatively easy wins for governments to accumulate before more ambitious targets can be practically introduced at home and overseas.

The world’s population will have to learn to adapt to a myriad of lifestyle changes that must inevitably follow in each and every country. It is, however, empowering that we can all personally make an immediate difference to the environment and our health through informed food choices, selecting green energy alternatives and purchasing fewer but more durable products.

Image: Unsplash

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