It is very easy to forget about our impact on the environment, and most of the time we don't even consider it at all. We allow ourselves to believe that someone who is far more passionate about environmental issues than we are is already out there fighting the good fight for us. This rather ridiculous belief allows us to become extremely flippant and lazy when it comes to being personally responsible for the environment, and for the most part dreadfully irresponsible.
It is only in the last few years that I have really started to become more aware of my global footprint. I have made a concerted effort to try and be more eco-friendly and globally conscious. For example, we have installed solar panels on our home, we grow our own produce, we do errands and shop whilst we are in town to save on fuel consumption, we don't use plastic bags, we compost all of our green waste and we are avid recyclers. However, although we have made some positive changes, we are still not doing enough and with 4 Earths hanging over our heads, we need to do a hell of a lot more!
In fact, Australia has one of the worst global footprints per capita than most of the world. We may have incredible beaches and an awesome lifestyle, but that all feels pretty shithouse when you realise that we are actually fucking up the globe by being dreadful unecological and environmentally unaware. The average global footprint per person in Australia is actually 4.8 Earths, which is something that we really need to do something about, and I do believe that awareness is key when it comes to change.
The good news is that there are simple ways that each of us can reduce our global impact immediately, and they don't need to be huge changes, just small consistent ones. Here are some simple ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and start to make a difference:
- Ride, walk, take public transport or carpool whenever you can.
- Don't speed when you drive! Speeding and unneccessary acceleration increase your mileage by up to 33% which wastes fuel and money.
- Drive an eco-friendly car.
- If you must fly, always fly economy, it works like carpooling by sharing the emissions.
- Insulate your home and windows and only buy appliances with high ENERGY STAR ratings.
- Turn off lights and appliances that are not being used, and only use LED or compact fluorescent globes.
- Keep your heating temperature set to 21 degrees celsius or below and grab a blanket if you're still cold.
- Install solar panels on your house.
- Eat locally sourced organic produce or better still grow your own!
- Eat less meat and if possible eat none.
- Install water saving devices on showers, toilets and appliances like washing machines and dishwashers.
- Never use plastic bags and become an avid recycler.
- Start composting.
- Use grey water on gardens and only planet climate appropriate vegetation on your property.
Release Date: 2014
Running Time: 100 mins
A British documentary film directed by Orlando von Einsiedel that focuses on the conservation work of park rangers within the Congo's Virunga National Park. Steeped in political and economic conflict, this controversial and heart wrenching tale was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a few brave souls continually put their lives on the line at the Virunga National Park to try and protect the world's last natural mountain gorillas from extinction. With threats coming from war, poaching and the continual threat of oil exploration, they have their work cut out for them.
The story centres around the lives of four individuals, gorilla caregiver Andre Bauma, central sector warden Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, chief warden Emmanuel do Merode and French investigative journalist Melanie Gouby as together they try to expose the internal and external corruptions and also protect the welfare of these beautiful creatures.
Tough going at times, but also completely inspiring in so many ways. The gorillas are, as you would imagine, complete scene stealers and the landscapes (when they aren't being used as a war zone) are utterly magical.
Virunga is a very sobering look at a wildlife and conservation issue that is, as yet, still far from solved.
FINAL SAY: You must justify why you are on this earth.
4 Chilli Peppers