My family members have a lot of things going for them–but adapting is not one of them. Despite the overwhelming barrage of information about global warming and dwindling resources, my parents and my two brothers have been merrily living the same lifestyle for the last 20 years. In fact, they’ve almost gotten more environmentally reckless over the past few years, perhaps in some unconscious form of rebellion. I can’t say I’ve lost my carbon footprint, but after I spent five weeks in Quebec this past summer, I felt so guilty about my lifestyle. Canada is such a beautiful country, and I was struck by the efforts everyone made to consciously preserve that beauty.
To start with, here are some things that need to change:
Over-consumption: my family buys far too much stuff. As proof, our house is full of junk. For example, some items are old, but a lot of them are things that were purchased without a need, (i.e. my brother’s ninja costume, which he wore once). Our house is so full, that we have a storage unit filled with furniture and other junk my parents are unwillng to part with. It’s good that they’re not throwing it away, but we didn’t need all those things in the first place.
Food: Again, over-consumption. My mom is the primary grocery-shopper in the family, but that should be changed. She buys things without looking at what we already have, and buys multiples of things, which eventually leads our pantry and fridge to be overflowing. Too much of it goes bad and is never used.
Plastic Bags: Obviously, when you buy lots of food, you end up with lots of those plastic bags from the grocery store. It will make you cringe to see the pile of bags we end up with every Saturday.