Here I am, three weeks into my life makeover, feeling pretty good about the progress I've made so far. I've been composting, bringing my lunch to work, hand-washing my clothes, reducing my toilet paper and paper towel consumption, and shutting down my computer every night. I've tried my hand at public transportation in India, found a a plastic-free water source, and swapped some single-use items in my home for more lasting ones.
Living in India is an incredible opportunity for a lot of reasons, but one of the primary benefits is our proximity to amazing travel destinations. We're a stone's throw from Nepal, a hop, skip and jump from Thailand, and a couple short flights from Bali. Mat and I have been trying to take advantage of it as much as we can. I firmly believe that travel is one of the most enriching experiences there is. Learning about cultures and customs that are different from our own has completely changed how we see and experience the world, and how we look at our own lives.
I'm very fortunate that I've had so many opportunities to travel in my life. I will never regret any travel that I've done, and I hope to continue to travel for many years to come. The one drawback to travel is that, no matter what your mode of transportation, you will impact the environment in some way, and air travel is by far the worst offender.
This conundrum has made me do some research into carbon offset schemes, with which you may be familiar. Carbonfootprint.com has free calculators to help you, assess your carbon footprint, and can help you find ways to purchase "carbon credits" to offset your impact.
What does this mean, and is it really real? How Stuff Works has some great reading on the subject, but in essence, money spent on carbon credits goes to projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions somewhere in the world. Often these projects are in rural or third-world locations, where it is relatively cheap to implement them. These projects can include anything from reforestation to harnessing harmful methane gas.
While it is easy for scammers to take money off of people with good intentions, there are a few global standards for carbon credit programs, including the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the Gold Standard, and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard. Look for these certifications when you're purchasing carbon credits to offset your carbon footprint.
Of course, paying money to offset your impact is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. It's not a cop-out for those who'd rather not reduce their impact in other ways. But for those who are consciously trying to reduce their waste, consume less, and conserve energy and resources, it can be a helpful tool.
Mat and I are heading to the U.K. via Paris this week, and while we're so excited about it, we are now more conscious than ever of our environmental impact, and so decided to offset our air travel (2.28 metric tonnes of CO2 for our return trip) by purchasing carbon credits.
Would you consider buying carbon offsets? How do you reduce your impact when you travel?
Aquaculture (fish farming) has grown as a result of, and potentially a solution to the overfishing of wild fish populations. Around 50% of the fish we consume is now farmed. But is fish farming safe for the environment? Is it good for our health?
I now have half a decade of bike commuting under my belt, but there are a few things I've figured out over the years that I wish someone had explained to me when I first began. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to cycling, and a lot of options when it comes to gear and clothing, but for today I’ll just talk about the most essential element of bike commuting: the bicycle itself.
So you've decided that you want to start transforming your lifestyle. You want less clutter, less waste, and more beauty in your day-to-day. You feel awesome for having arrived at this decision, and excited to begin. But you're also overwhelmed by the amount of work and conscious effort it's going to take to achieve it. Where do you even start?
My beautiful farmer friend wrote me an email with a whole lot of information relevant to my current quest for the right balance in my food choices, and the unique perspective of someone who spends every single day in the dedicated service of the animals in her care.
Spending the weekend in a place like this gave me hope that despite what humans have done to ravage the planet, incredible biodiversity still exists, and there are people who are actively safeguarding it.
I WANTED TO SCREAM. I wanted to cry. I wanted to stop every person I saw walking along the water and say "WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE THINKING?!" at the top of my lungs.
It takes 660 gallons of water just to produce enough beef to make 1 burger.
Craig Leeson's film is a soul stirring, shocking, inspiring work, which I think everyone should see.
There are many ways in which going zero waste can lead to greater financial freedom, and adjusting our food choices to be less wasteful is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save money.
If you're like me and don't know the difference between sleep, hibernate, and shut down modes, let me help you out. It's pretty simple.