If we think about the relationship between the impact that we have, how we consume and the technology that we use, you’ll see that it’s all interconnected. Irrespective of our lifestyle, the amount of money we earn, or where we live on planet Earth, our impact can be expressed as the following equation:
Your Impact = Consumption x Technology.
We can easily see that in order to reduce our impact, we must either change our consumption habits, use more efficient technology, or both. Consider how recycling waste, using products with less packaging, using renewable energy sources, replacing light fittings, and consuming locally produced products, provide you with the same “services”, yet at the same time reduce your impact.
How many conservationists does it take to screw in a light bulb? One! Changing a light-bulb is easy; anyone can do it. Using LED lighting will reduce your impact. However, leaving the lights on 24 hours a day will overshadow the benefits of this technology change. If you really want to make a difference, you also have to change your behaviour.
Susan Freinkel wrote in her book, Plastic: A Toxic Love story, “For all the environmental troubles single-use shopping bags cause, the much greater impacts are in what they contain. Reducing the human footprint means addressing fundamentally unsustainable habits of food consumption, such as expecting strawberries in the depths of winter or buying of seafood that are being fished to the brink of extinction.”