Sustainability feels good

By: Kate Hall

In 2021, there are few people in the world who deny that our climate is in crisis, but they do exist.

They claim our planet is ‘just fine’. These climate crisis deniers would say that governments who declare climate emergencies, just like New Zealand did last year, are ‘over the top’, and those who go out of their way to make daily decisions that do not destroy the planet, are absolutely crazy.

To these people I say, ‘I hope you are right’. I hope our planet is okay, and I hope the chance of the human race existing as we do now, is not in jeopardy. That would be amazing! But even if you are right, I am still going to live life as sustainably and responsibly as possible.

No matter what you say, you’ll find me bringing my reusable cup (it’s actually a jar with an old sock around the bottom) to Drifter’s Cafe in Ōrewa, and I’ll certainly ride my bike to grab it.

Even if the world is absolutely flourishing and okay, you’ll continue to see me browse all the wonderful second hand shops on the Hibiscus Coast, take my own containers to get veggie curry from the Curry Hut in Red Beach, and visit the library instead of buying new books.

Why? Because I believe living sustainably is how humans thrive; and I don’t want to live my short life on earth without thriving.

Visiting the Ōrewa Farmers Market on Sunday morning to chat with the people who grow my plants, and the woman who makes my honey, fills my internal cup. Thoughtfully making my own treats for the week with ingredients purchased at Silverdale Bin Inn gives me more nutrition than purchasing cookies at the supermarket ever would. Plus, using up what I have, instead of buying new, saves me lots of money.

So, climate crisis deniers; I hope you are right, I really do. But I hope you understand that I don’t live sustainably because we are in a crisis. I live this way because it feels good; it feels right.

I don’t always live a perfect sustainable life (there is still plastic in my pantry), but I try my best. No matter the state of the world or how difficult our systems make living sustainably, I will persevere with my rewarding way of living that respects and honours other people and this planet. Climate crisis deniers – I hope you will too.

How to lose carbon kilos
CoGo is a NZ startup – a world first – that aims to help users make purchasing decisions that emit less carbon into the atmosphere. It’s an app that links to a person’s bank account securely and tells them the carbon produced every time they spend. Last month food and drink purchases for my husband and I were 71kg. My overall footprint was 335kg, which is the same as cutting down six trees or driving 1250km. I can choose to offset my footprint (cost me the price of two coffees last month) and use the information to keep improving. CoGo also has a map of places to shop. Pandora’s Closet Curiosity & Second Hand Shop in Whangaparāoa is listed, local New World supermarkets are there, and places to buy clothes, like Kathmandu Silverdale, also pop up. CoGo is starting a much-needed movement towards carbon-neutral living.

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