When I talk to my kids about our world, I tell them “the world is big and round, it’s made of land and water, and there are lots of people, animals, and plants that all share it. In our play, our world is filled with wild animals around the world - elephants, tigers, giraffes, bears, and zebras.
However, if I were to represent the reality of the world, I should be showing my kids a cow next to a cow next to another cow and followed by a chicken.
In the largest study done on all biomass on Earth, it is revealed, “the world’s 7.6 billion people represents just 0.01% of all living things. Life on Earth consists of 82% plants, 13% bacteria and 5% everything else. Here are three other findings that really stood out for me:
- Mammals consist of 60% livestock (mostly cattle), 36% human and just 4% wild animals.
- Birds consist of 70% farmed poultry, with just 30% being wild.
- Since human civilisation, we have caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of the plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.”
The scale and pertinence of this transformation is alarming. It just goes to show how great an impact humans have on our planet. But also that if each and everyone takes a world view of how we consume, then that can have a profound and positive impact on the environment.
Our family is not perfect, but over the past 3 years, we have made a number of lifestyle changes to be more conscious of our environmental impact.
Here are 10 things we do towards more sustainable living:
- Reducing our meat intake and choosing a more plant-based diet.
- Decluttering our home regularly so we model living with less.
- Investing in classic, neutral clothing from companies with ethical practices.
- Switching to natural/organic products for face and body.
- Curating natural and sustainable toys for our kids.
- Rethinking how we purchase in general, choosing fewer, better things.
- Refusing freebies/unnecessary gifts/particularly plastics toys.
- Switching everyday products to natural, reusable items where possible.
- Choosing food with limited packaging/ organic and composting food scraps.
- Recycling plastics.
I came across the quote the other day “The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create". Every step we take as parents is an opportunity to talk to our children about the importance of sustainability in the hope that we create the norm for their future.
The study is led by Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read an excellent summary of the study by The Guardian.
Thanks so much for reading! I’d love to hear your views and your tips on sustainable living.