In Australia, we have so much to be thankful for, yet we have epidemic levels of depression, anxiety and obesity. We continue to want more. Better cars, homes, clothes, better holidays so we can show our friends on social media. All the while, the decisions we make on a daily basis, are ruining our planet and our health in the process.
According to the Climate Change Performance Index, Australia is the 5th worst contributor of a group of 58 countries, who are responsible for more than 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. We come ahead of Kazakhstan, South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
According to the 2016 Journal of Industrial Ecology, consumers are responsible for 60% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and up to 80% of global water use.
By 2050, it’s estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Sea creatures are swallowing whole garbage bags thinking it’s food, and little tiny pieces as well, and it’s killing them, literally starving them.
Microplastics have recently been detected in tap and bottled drinking water and table salt from all around the world. According to Professor Sherri Mason at the State University of New York plastics are “ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use – plastics are just everywhere”. Professor Mason suggests that we could be consuming more than 660 particles of plastic every year.
Even our precious engagement rings have a devastating effect on the earth and cause contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals. It takes 1750 tonnes of earth to mine a 1.0ct diamond. Who knows this stuff? I certainly didn’t.
There are approximately 750 million people on earth who don’t have enough food to eat. Each day, they fear where their next meal will come from and how they will survive. The ultra-poor people I met in the Philippines last year were surprisingly happy. Happy that they had each other, their relationships were what was important.
What will it take for us to question our status quo?
I think my generation is slowly waking up to the adverse effect of previous generations, and our own, are having on the earth. It's the next generation, our children, however, who already know and understand words like sustainability, eco-friendly and humanitarian. For them, what they learn from us, and from their teachers, now is what will lead them to become the custodians of better earth, a protected future.
My children will make better choices that I did. From the beginning of their journey, I know they will question everything. I know they will live more consciously, valuing what is real and most importantly not feeling they have to follow the status quo, like so many that came before them.
It will be human ingenuity that will find the solutions to solve the problems we have created for ourselves. More information https://ethicsdisrupted.com