The Awareness Diary #1

I am sitting at my desk (which actually isn’t a desk at all but somebody else’s dining table), drinking a bottle of cider, and writing a business plan for a coffee shop that puts a lot of importance and focus on the ‘social and environmental sustainability’ of everything that the business does. 

While I am doing this it has dawned on me that there are probably a hundred little things that I do every day without thinking very deeply at all about their social and environmental sustainability or about the impact that they have on others, on the planet or on my own future at all. 

They are mostly little things, the kind of things that we think won’t make a difference or that we shouldn’t bother about because it is the big things that really have an effect. They are also the things that I tend to vocally complain about or hold other people, companies or governments accountable for. 

If I order a mojito and the bar normally puts a plastic straw in it then instead of just accepting that and then moaning about the use of single-use plastics then maybe I should proactively ask them to not put a straw in my drink. This really could have been any of very many possible examples and I genuinely don’t know why I chose a rum based drink, but that isn’t important.  

So I have decided that I am going to try to pay more attention to all of these things, to try and be more informed about the consequences of the things that I buy, use and do, on an everyday basis in every sphere of my life. 

Of course I am going to do this within limits. I’m not about to run off and live in a tree house, drinking my own filtered urine and only eating nuts and berries. I like the modern world and technology and nice food and mojitos way too much for all of that. There has to be a balance but we need to learn to hold ourselves accountable. 

Obviously it would be easy to stop at the little things but maybe we need to think bigger as well. Should we keep the diesel car that we have or should we find a way to make an investment and buy an electric one. It’s easy to counter this by questioning how cleanly electricity is generated in the country that you live in, but really that is just a way of avoiding any responsiblity. Owning an electric car at least gives the possibility of it being powered indirectly by renewable energy, driving a petrol or diesel never will. 

While I am pretty good at coming up with nice ideas, I will freely admit the chaos of my mind quickly moves onto other things and I don’t always follow them up for too long. I figured that writing myself an Accountability Diary each day about at least one of the decisions or actions that I have thought about, whatever my final decision was. 

The decision to do this at all should probably be enough for day #1 but, No, I’m also curious about how and if I can recycle the metal cap from the cider bottle I’ve just finished. Of course, I throw the bottle into the recycling, but the cap normally ends up in the bin… I think a quick google is in order. 

“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

Lily Tomlin

Well said Lily, well said!

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