What changes when you realize that your life, and those of people around you, are unsustainable, not just the myriad of consumer decisions we can make, (prius over a F350, reusable vs plastic, etc), but deep down, what really changes?
We just returned from a road trip where we travelled over 2,600km in two and a bit weeks. Although we did this in a Toyota Yaris, it still represents one of the largest single carbon outputs of our lives in recent time. It was a valuable trip for family time, visiting friends, seeings amazing sights, and even getting some work done – but I really can’t see us making too many of these type of trips.
We’ve made many changes in our lifestyle, expectations and decisions over the past couple of years, but I look around and we are essentially just an odd version of most everyone else, at least that’s what it looks like from the outside. On the inside though, our eyes are open to the reality of the environmental, energy and financial mess we are in as a society. We’ve been criticized from all fronts for the decisions we are making – people just don’t care to see that the future we’ve created for ourselves is likely to be very different from that which we’ve been led to believe will exist.
I’m happily a productive member of society at the moment, paying taxes, consuming a modest amount of consumer goods and services and participating in the formal economy in many ways; but with increasing government debt, diminishing levels of service, pension and unemployment benefit fiascos, bailouts, and everything else we are subject to as citizens, the impetus to opt out of parts of productive society will increase, and in fact, by doing so, in many cases, your life will become more sustainable.
Is opting out a possibility?