Welcome to the blog of the Broad Curriculum course Living Sustainably: A complete guide to surviving a changing planet. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Not just for Christmas, take permanent steps to sustainability and accountability

Actual sustainable living is often confused with the trendy, hippy style message of green living. Companies are continually guilty of green washing as a form of consumer conscious advertising, and a very  large percentage of people are only too happy to go along with this in an apathetic manner, leaving responsibility to someone else and half-heartedly declaring that they are doing the right thing. We can’t keep hoping for the best and keep leaving it to others, it is time to take personal responsibility.
Making the right choices isn’t about hardship and poor me, reaching towards sustainability for our planet is about reaching towards personal and spiritual sustainability. We learned in this course that on average Irish people use three planets worth of resources to sustain their current lifestyle. While third world countries remain in their current low resource usage per capita the plant is still being used at a rate of 1.5 plants, if all 7 billion people on the planet were to suddenly have the capacity for the consumerism of the average American this would shoot up to 5 plants leading us rapidly down the path of cataclysmic event.
It is rare to meet with outright denial of global warming however we need to re-enthuse people to the goal of sustainability as a permanent way of life, like a healthy diet, not just to lose a few pounds and go back to the overindulgence when the initial excitement wears off. Personal commitment to what our families need and less of what is just wanted. We need to educate our children to be mindful of choices not blind consumerism.
Suzanne Harnett

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