At this point in time, the Earth is the only option we have. We, Humans, have the responsibility to take care of it. As a human, there is one thing that you can do for our Planet which will have a hugely positive impact on the environment. You’re probably not going to like it though….
Dear Fellow Travelers,
As you know, the COP21, the Climate Change Conference, ended last week end with a new international agreement on climate change. The main goal of this agreement if to keep global warming below 2°C. The simple fact that 196 nations gathered and agreed on such framework is an incredible achievement.
However, for you and I, this remains kind of obscure. How do you keep global warming below 2°C? Do you turn on the air-conditioning? (obviously the answer is no!)
There is one thing you can do for our Planet, which will have a tremendous impact on climate change and the environment in general. You’re probably not going to like but if you are willing to make a difference, read on.
First of all, I’m going to explain why I’m writing this post and why it is addressed to fellow Travelers, although it is something everybody can and should do.
Next, I will address some of the most annoying misconceptions and why it is damageable to all of us.
Because I can rant, I will also tell you about the 3 arguments that are most annoying to me. 😉
And finally, I will tell you about this one thing you can do for our Planet, to make a difference, and as a bonus, I’ll probably tell you about other little things which could have a big impact.
Are you still interested? Well let’s go…
Well I think the short answer is because I care and because I can!
It may sound a bit weird to post something like this on a travel blog, especially one focused on road trips, but hear me out: despite the fact that I love travelling the World in a car, I do everything I can to have a positive impact on the environment.
So why address this post to fellow Travelers? Because Travelers are more likely to witness the ugly true than people who live in their tiny bubble and seeing the World wonders, makes you more inclined to want to save it…
Travelers are more likely to witness the ugly true
There is a long lasting trend going on which consist of distinguishing travelers and tourists, by categorizing them based on their habits. Basically, travelers have authentic experiences and tourists are… well… just tourists. I truly dislike this opposition as all travelers act as tourists at one point or another and most tourists do seek the authentic experiences travelers brag about.
If there is one difference that I might concede is that travelers are more likely to witness of the ugly true.
By taking the “less traveled roads“, by going “off the beaten paths“, they are more likely to see the true of places which might otherwise look like a clean sanitized paradise to the tourists which are often trapped inside what could, somehow, be compared to a virtual reality.
By avoiding the touristy beach, the traveler might discover the other beaches filled with trash that the ocean is desperately trying to give us back. By avoiding the tourist road, the traveler might see the popular illegal landfill or the trash pilling along side the not as cleaned roads. The traveler might also be witness to what deforestation really sounds like, what intensive agriculture smells like and what mining looks like from up close.
The traveller might get to see what hides behind the curtains installed to ‘protect’ the tourist from the reality. As such the traveller should be even more inclined to act for the protection of our Earth.
There are things that can’t be unseen. And once you’ve seen the ugly truth, you can only want to act. Unfortunately, there are still lots of people out there who are not going to be supportive.
Being an environmentalist isn’t being cuckoo
The days are gone when being an environmentalist, caring for the Earth and wanting clean water, clean air, and a safe environment was synonym with being a hippie or a boho. This mentality is so outdated.
To care for the environment, to care for the Earth, to care for biodiversity is not something to be ashamed of. Yet, when you explain to your friends that you only buy organic products, or that you don’t use this brand or this one, some of them will try to dismiss your steps as useful and treat you like a hipster, which, in their mouth, will sound like an insult. They might even try to convince you that you are the one being brainwashed by big corporations which are surfing the organic mouvements.
Just don’t let them get to you. Know that you are making a difference. Know that your impact is positive.
Caring for the environment is caring for humanity
The slow destruction of the environment is obviously harming the Earth, its biodiversity and Humankind. Some of us are more concerned about the oceans, some of us seek tigers, pandas or elephants survivals, some of us work tirelessly to bring clean water and food to people in need, others, like the COP21 focuses on global warming by pledging to make “efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius”.
It is easy to dismay one or another. It is easy to consider one goal more important than the others and if you are focused on saving the great crested newts for example, a lot of people will dismay your efforts and shove in your face that you should be concerned about people, not animals.
Such a useless behavior…
Caring for the Earth and all it’s inhabitants is the biggest challenge we, Humans, are facing. The most important thing we need to do, to hopefully save ourselves. All efforts are important, all fields need to be taken care of and everybody’s implication is required. We are all connected to each others, to the Earth and it’s inhabitants.
If caring for the great crested newts, is your thing, go for it! Someone has to do it and it might as well be you. Doing small things, everyday, acting and being part of the solution, is just as important if not more than taking great pledges.
Picture source unknown but this is very motivating, don’t you think!?
In the intro above, I told you I was going to rant about the 3 arguments, that bug me the most, so here we are:
The 3 most annoying and damaging arguments
1- The ‘I can’t, I love this or that too much‘ argument.
What are you saying? You can’t no buy another phone when the one you currently have still works? You can’t not take showers instead of baths? You can’t stop eating this or that when out of season? Really??
Well I think that you are probably making up an invalid excuse for your unacceptable habits and that by saying ‘I can’t’ you may actually be admitting that you have no willpower.
The truth is that you shouldn’t say ‘I can’t’, you should right away admit that you don’t want to because I know you have the willpower to stop doing these things you say you can’t. We all do, we are all incredible that way! But admitting that you don’t want to stop something, makes you feel guilty and that’s much to hard to cope with.
2- The ‘I can’t do it all, so there is no point in doing anything at all‘ argument.
Well I understand that you get up early to go to work, deal with highly important stuffs, come home exhausted and repeat every day of the week. I understand that, if you’re lucky enough to have free time during the week-ends, you want to enjoy it carelessly and not be bothered by doomed days prophesies. Yes I understand but it does’t mean I accept it. Having a job and kids doesn’t mean that you can’t live a responsible life and that you can’t implement good habits.
Indeed you won’t be able to do it ALL, although ALL is a bit blurry. But you will certainly be able to do a lot and therefore have a significant impact. Refer again to point one about willpower if needed!
3- The ‘We’ll all die anyway‘ argument is probably the one that bothers me most.
The fact that we’ll all die is undeniable, it’s the only certainty of life. It certainly isn’t an excuse to trash the planet, act like a jerk, kill people, or in general a ‘pass to do what ever I want’.
What is most ironical in this argument (and the others, really), is that people who say this, usually have children. And what these people usually say about their children is that they would do anything for them. They would cut an arm, give a kidney, and even die for them because they love them so much. Yet, when it comes to preserving the environment for the future generations which clearly includes their own children and potentially their grant children, they are not ready to do anything… because they can’t, because we’ll all die anyway…. They would do anything… except take responsibility for their children doomed future.
Well bite your tongue next time you want to say ‘We’ll all die anyway’, ok?
Good rant! Thank you!! 😉
So what is this one thing that you can do for our Planet, to make a difference?
Let start by a little quizz:
- Do you know what is responsible for more than half of all greenhouse emission?
- What is responsible for 80% of the deforestation in the Amazon?
- What is the biggest water polluter?
- What requires more fossil fuel that the transport sector inc. all cars, buses and trucks combined?
There is a single answer to all these questions: Meat.
Congratulations if you are connecting the dots as you are right!
I am indeed suggesting that you should cut your meat consumption significantly to have a true positive impact on the environment. Since you’re at it, cut your dairy and fish consumption too!!
This has been largely overlooked by the COP21 agreement despite the consensus that it is one of the easiest thing that we can all do. So do it!!
I know you’re not about to tell me ‘I cant, I love meat too much’ otherwise it means you didn’t read the whole post and you should probably go back to one of the above paragraph!
There is plenty of ressources online to help you better understand and make the switch. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s tasty!!
I know you want to save the Earth, I know you want your children to have the opportunity to see the World’s wonder as you have seen them. I know you are eager to live a better life and want the same for others. Cutting out meat of your diet is truly a very small concession but one with a huge impact.
Additional bonus includes a healthier body, gain of energy and the knowledge that you are making a difference!
What other things can you do?
I promised you a few additional bonus points and these includes:
- Educate yourself. We live in an incredible time where information is easily accessible so make the most of it.
- Don’t be fooled by greenwashing. Be mindful of what you buy. Read the fine prints, and think for yourself.
- Act every single day. There isn’t any reason not to!
- Reduce is the most important par of the 3R rule. You know the rules: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But reducing is the most important action you can take. As stating above, reducing your meat, dairy and fish consumption is one thing, but you can also me mindful of all the other things you buy. You’ll save money and have more to spend on your next trip! It’s a win-win!!
- Buy organic products. Not just food. Organic clothes, furniture, grooming & cleaning products, etc. means less pollution.
- Buy second hand products when you can.
- Share with your family and friends. Start a blog if you have to. The important thing is to help others take small but efficient steps toward a more sustainable life.
The climate is most likely going to change dramatically during the 21st century and the effects will be far reaching and devastating for many of us. At some point or another, we’ll all be affected by these changes. It is therefore very important that we all take this seriously and act, now, as much as we can, to prevent this from happening, for ourselves and for future generation.
Somehow, it’s hard to realize it, because we won’t see the direct and immediate consequences of this simple everyday choice. But reducing significantly our meat consumption is one small thing we can do which will have a tremendous positive impact in the long term.
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And thanks for staying with till the end 😉