I Am Not Sustainable

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In all honesty, I am pretty sure I am not sustainable.
I may stave off death-the ultimate green buzz kill-for a few more decades by eating organic yogurt and drinking fair-trade coffee, but that is assuming I do not have to face one of the myriad catastrophes that Jam contributing to otherwise-like rising tides, rising temperatures, food shortages, global upheaval, and so on.
You can not really blame me, and if you are not feeling sustainable either, I can not really blame you.
Our ancestors made a lot of progress just trying to stay warm and sated, now who are we to have to go and change everything? If one thing seems clear about our sustainability woes, however, It is that just about everything we do could use a life cycle analysis and upgrade.
In a recent piece in the New York Times, Harold McGee notes that if Americans would just use less water to boil pasta (all one billion pounds of it per year) we could save something like 500, 000 barrels of oil annually.
And that is just pasta water! What about rethinking beef, toilet paper, pesticides, lumber, and cars (or a thousand other things)? It is all a bit mind-boggling and leaves me feeling hopelessly unsustainable.
Or just plain hopeless.
Just as the Enlightenment crept out of the Dark Ages, our young 21st century must jettison the practices of our carbon-chewing-and-spewing industrial age and welcome an environmentally enlightened era.
In defiance to my own un-sustainability, I would like to suggest a two-pronged approach.
First, individuals need to make micro-decisions-like using less water to boil pasta or riding a bike or bus to work instead of driving-which can affect macro-change.
Second, governments, corporations, and other institutions need to lay a framework that makes adopting those decisions easy as well as taking care of the big-ticket items like power grids and high-speed railways.
I may be stating the obvious, but given the gravity of the situation we are in (last summer, for the first time in recorded history, the North Pole could be circumnavigated), it bears repetition.
We decided to widen our scope beyond purely residences to incorporate the notion that change at home is not enough; a holistic view of the built environment is necessary for deeper eco-enlightenment.
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