Do as I say, and you can save the planet… hahaha, what kind of daft arrogance is that?
Look, I’m no eco-saint. I’m not vegan, I’m not even a vegetarian. I dye my hair, I wear make-up and I drive a diesel car, dammit. (I know, I know… I bought the wretched thing just before all the terrible reports came out about how diesel was Satan In Your Tank.) There is no way you could describe me as a proper eco-warrior. And no, I haven’t the guts or the constitution to sleep up a tree to stop a road being built.
However, I have, in my own small way, tried very hard not to tread too heavily on the fragile surface of the planet. I have recycled assiduously and laboriously since recycling began. I read labels and try very hard to do without chemicals where I can. I travel by train whenever possible and if I drive the two miles into town, I do it as infrequently as possible, and with a long list of errands, so that I only have to make the one visit every few days. I grow fruit and vegetables and I am a demon bottler/jam-maker and chutniste. (I just made that word up.) And my friend Stig says he’ll show me how to make a wind turbine at home, though the chances of me actually doing it are feck all. Like most of us, I mean well.
However, I believe I might be able to persuade you to make small, incremental changes to your life that will not diminish your happiness but that might just start making a difference if enough of us do the same.
It seems to be an absolute given of modern life that unless we are offered limitless choice, our lives are somehow less rich, less fulfilled, and we’re being shortchanged.
Our supermarkets are a dazzling cornucopia of edible riches and glorious hygiene options stretching over miles of aisles. We could be sleeker, more fragrant, more gratified if only we try this or that new (and always “improved!”) new product.
Our suffering, emptying high streets are trying to tempt us back in to the shops with faster and faster fashion turnover, the internet is on the offensive, and Amazon sucks us into quick and pain-free shopping with one-click ordering.
Pain-free, that is, until the bills arrive. Pain-free until our seas are empty, our land polluted, our forests and their miraculous inhabitants are gone forever.
If only we can stop the lunacy of constant consumption we might just begin to turn things round… Let’s stop and think before we spend our money on Shit We Really Do Not Need.
I hope you come with me for the ride.