[ ENVIRONMENT ]
Advices for a Sustainable future
Buy local produce
In the eyes of the consumer, agriculture has created miraculous changes in the way we consume. On supermarket shelves we can see products from every part of the world, every season of the year. But buying these products can have undesirable consequences.
Over three quarters of the amount we pay for food is used to cover the cost of harmful mechanical processes like transport, packaging and refrigeration. Farmers receive a basic percentage of the profit that often obliges them to lower the money put into production. Sometimes this can even result in the transference of harmful diseases such as mad cow disease or bird flu. When buying food that is produced near by, we also contribute to improving the local agricultural economy.
CO2 emissions to transport a kilo of apples:
• From New Zealand: 1000 gr.
• From local area: 50 gr.
When we buy apples from New Zealand, half of the price we pay goes toward fuel costs. Airborne transportation of food should be completely abolished.
Water is a scarce commodity. Although three quarters of the planet is covered in it, less than 0.01% is fit for human consumption. The population of the earth is increasing continually and so is the need for fresh water. Global warming also contributes to the depletion of this resource. In many poor countries, water supply is being privatised and sold to multinationals such as Bechtel. The company then receives benefits as water supply is regulated and distributed- as in such countries as Iraq and Bolivia. When contrasted with a resource such as petrol, we can see that water is far more essential to our survival. It is perhaps not so difficult to envisage a time when peoples will go to war over water supply.
With simple measures, like turning off the tap while we brush our teeth, not using more than we need when washing the car, take showers instead of baths. We could also implement irrigation systems that utilise recycled water, prevent projects such as the introduction of golf courses in arid areas (such as the Mediterranean coast in Spain). All of this will help future generations, allowing them to benefit from this precious resource.
Large commercial outlets are particularly proficient when it comes to damaging the environment. They present themselves as centres of social and leisure activity. However, the central motif behind any such enterprise is solely to motivate mass consumption and to generate profit. In such constructions, the shopper is removed from direct contact with the natural environment. Light, air-conditioning and heating all contribute to alarming levels of energy consumption. Some such mega-stores use more energy than it would take to power a city of over 100,000 inhabitants.