Today while I was riding a bike down to a beautiful beach I started to think how modern is to be green and environmentally aware. On one hand we replace paper with computers, recycle, reuse things, or use less electricity. All these efforts are honorable, but did you look at the bigger picture?
Everything in the world is connected. So if we use less paper and start to store everything only, someone/somewhere needs to power all these servers, cool them and create storage areas. All this costs money and energy. So we just changed something which is visible and tangible for somobody’s else problem.
Four weeks ago I moved to Australia, which is one of the countries that is environmentally very conscious. Australians are all over green technologies, saving water, electricity and behaving responsibly towards the planet. It`s all nice and admirable. On the other hand when I go for lunch to food court most of the places serve you food on plastic plates, with plastic knife and fork, with tons of papers. They massively use plastic/paper cups for takeaway coffee, drinks, smoothies. Average person does not think about big picture, they feel good that they did something for environment by not printing out that email, but they are happy to buy takeaway coffee everyday. And I believe these habits have bigger environmental impact then printing 2 pages.
Australia is one of countries which still hesitates to use nuclear power. However they don`t have problems with dumping nuclear waste in their country and creating the biggest nuclear dump in the world. To be honest I think Australians should be more afraid about that, then about some nuclear reactor which can bring them actual benefits. I am not a big fan of nuclear power. I still think it need some time to develop and be effective. Currently we are able to use just a small percentage of uranium, most of it goes to waste.
Taking care of our environment, I am saying our because it does not matter which country you come from, should be taken as complex thing. Question is what are we able to sacrifice to do that (In one TED talk I got surprised by a fact that European cat has bigger ecological footprint than average African). Or change our deep habits. Takeaway coffee tastes the same from your travel mug as from the plastic one.
Take yourself out of the box next time you talk about “green”.
I also recommend this video - How I fell in love with a fish - for the ones who believe that there is still a change of having natural farms and food produced on them.