Hey y’all. Is it too late to wish everyone a happy new year?
2018. Wow. I am not sure if it was a great year, a good year or a bad year.
Personally, I think I had a very good year; what’s there to complain about with a beautiful family, stable job and privilege?
Blog wise, I guess I had quite a “bad” year. Not because I didn’t have visitors, but because I lost some of my inspiration to stay green, clean, shop local and to then write about it. Only 37 published posts!
In terms of personal development, I had a big year. I had to lay someone off at work – not fun but a good learning experience. I had to redefine what sustainability means to me and define how much I can (and want to) actually participate in personal green efforts (like recycling and not shopping). I had to work through endless colds and sleepless nights with our toddler, leading to serious development of skills in the raising children department. I also had to survive the first few months of pregnancy with a toddler and a job that has been more demanding than ever – yes, we are adding to our carbon footprint and having another little one :)
But hey, let’s focus on the sustainability part. I wrote some posts about my efforts and failures last fall and I haven’t really bounced back since then. I am still kind of in that “ah, I’ll do what I have the energy to do” phase, yet I have to say I am super, duper stoked and EXCITED that media, politicians and regular people are finally talking about climate change!
Hello “Green New Deal”, school strikes for climate and every single car manufacturer getting ready to release their own line of electric car models. Yay to more coal plants closing and more wind and solar being built every day. Thank goodness for the scientists who told the world we only have 12 years to change course or head towards extremely severe weather conditions.
About the “12 years” the world has got left to shape up; I’ve been thinking a lot about my own journey and if I can be “fossil fuel free” in twelve years – or sooner.
So, I actually think I (plus family) can come very close to a green life, if infrastructure keeps moving in the right direction (which to me it seems like it does). I know I work better, faster and harder when I have a set deadline. It will take some effort, but here’s what I have come up with:
- It requires us to stop flying. That means we need to move closer to family so we can travel by car (EV of course!) or train to see them. It also means we need to visit the places we dream about on this continent in the near future, so we don’t feel like we missed out. In the long run I think there will be hyper-loops, electric high-speed planes and other cool connections between Europe and the East Coast of USA but until then we’ll be putting effort into creating a more sustainable living and travel plan.
- It requires us to only consume renewable energy. I am not concerned about this at all. We know we’ll need a bigger house with two growing boys eventually and at that point we will install solar panels and batteries to run off the grid 24/7.
- It requires a low carbon food supply. I plan on maintaining a plant based diet and I do believe that within the next 3-5 years, there will be so much plant based (vegan) food in our stores, schools and restaurants that most animal products will begin to phase out. I believe that scientists and farmers will work together to improve practices and more organic food will be available.
- It requires container ships (currently running on heavy oil products) to clean up their act. Even though I buy lots of local stuff, there are items – and I believe there’ll always be – we must get from certain far-away countries (assuming we continue this lifestyle with owning electronics and bamboo toothbrushes). I am not sure how this will play out. I am hoping to see some initiatives from the shipping industry but I am not sure they’ll work hard enough to get there in time. Thoughts?
- It requires a society way less dependent on fossil-fuel-based plastics. Aiyoooo. Will they shape up? Will I be able to buy my fave potato salad in bulk? Will giants like LEGO and Disney move towards bio-based materials in time? Remains to be seen.
- It requires policy, incentives, infrastructure and opportunities created by fair, decent, hard working governments. Will THEY wake up and do something? If there are more “AOC’s” in the global politics-pipeline, odds are we might start seeing things shift. I am hopeful.
Have you been having similar thoughts?
I think knowing I only have until 2030 has had a positive impact on my long term planning – setting goals way larger and way beyond just “pick the vegan lunch option today”. Maybe this new way of thinking is part of why I haven’t blogged much about my day to day green living style!?
Anyway, as always, thanks for being part of “Sustainable Anna” in 2018! I am not sure what 2019 holds but I will be here and I love hearing from you all.