Whether being green is something that consumes your life or it is a guilty after-thought… there are always changes you can make to tread lighter on the planet. That’s the great thing about sustainability… every step you take in the right direction is a good one. As Kat said in her gorgeous article 3things can change the world, a simple change can make a big difference!
Got to admit, I am writing this article just after watching Avatar. Other than Fern Gully I can’t think of another movie that makes you hate capitalism and or consumerism more. Well, at least I have a theme! Here is what I have pledged to the Oxfam 3things website…
So what exactly do my pledges mean?
Pledge #1 – Stop using any products that contain Palm Oil
This pledge was borne of the research I did for my article on palm oil. To sum up, 40% of all packaged foods in Australia contains palm oil and to meet this demand Indonesia and Malaysia are clearing rainforests at record rates (Guinness World Record rates) for oil palm plantations. So how can I abolish meat, eggs and dairy for animal rights reasons with an ounce of credibility when the biscuits, soups and shampoos I’m using are displacing orangutans, tigers and elephants and many other amazing animals. Labelling laws for palm oil in Australia are non-existent: there is no convention that says companies need to list whether the palm oil they are using is sustainable; they don’t even need to tell you they are using palm oil at all (it is listed as vegetable oil). This will be a tough challenge. Looking at the positives though it will make me consume more whole foods instead of processed junk and another by-product of the pledge means I will reduce the amount of packaging I use and will support local producers.
And if all that isn’t enough I just need to remember that my love for convenience will never outweigh my love for orangutans.
Pledge #2 – Grow my own vegetables
For pledge 2 I am recycling an old idea, after last year getting so scared of starting my own veggie patch that quit before I even began. There was just so much to consider. Where do I put it? What materials do I use? Is the pine I’m using treated with arsenic? And that’s before I have even planted a seed!!! But I’m biting the bullet and making the change. Ignoring the effect on the earth, I have to admit I am pretty damn terrified about all the emerging reports of the herbicides and pesticides being sprayed onto my food (and that’s before even broaching the subject of genetic modification). So all in all, I am excited and I will document my movements in the Home section of www.ecoempire.org.
Marigolds here I come!!!
Pledge #3 – Make Eco Empire the best environmental site in Australia
Kat and I were chatting the other day; the information we have learnt from each other already – in the first month of Eco Empires existence – has been huge! I think it was a surprise to both of us just how much we were learning; not to mention a very welcome by-product. For me it has completely confirmed that we are doing a really positive thing. I want to continue educating myself, my friends and my family and hope that the enthusiasm that Kat and I share will translate into an interesting and useful resource. I pledge to make this website engaging, contemporary and constructive; a go-to for information, inspiration or just a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Remember, it’s not sacrifice… its a compromise.
So…what did you pledge???