“The earth needs us to reduce consumption”: How can we enter the post-consumer society


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this week:

  • “The earth needs us to reduce consumption”: How can we enter the post-consumer society
  • Celebrate Blackbird Week
  • Why photos of felled trees on Vancouver Island go viral on the Internet

“The earth needs us to reduce consumption”: How can we enter the post-consumer society

(Penguin Random House Canada)

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the global economy plummeted. But the world has also noticed other things: cleaner air, the re-emergence of wild animals, and a sharp drop in carbon emissions. Despite a short pause in retail activity in the past year, the global consumption of natural resources has been increasing for decades. In his new book, World Stop Shopping Day, Vancouver writer JM MacKinnon discusses how sustainable consumption can benefit the environment and improve the quality of life without causing mass unemployment or economic hardship. He wrote about people who buy less and earn less, so they have more time to learn, build relationships, and get close to nature. He also introduced some Japanese business owners whose companies span several generations. In these companies, continuity and employee and customer satisfaction are more important than market growth.

Alice Hopton Yes MacKinnon is a senior environmental writer. He said that he wrote this book after he realized that “everything I write comes from consumption.”

What is your purpose for writing this book?

The main question I want to answer is, as consumers, how do we get out of this predicament, it seems that the earth does need us to reduce consumption, but whenever we do, we will see it in the economy.

Do you feel that the pandemic has turned your imagination into reality?

This is too unusual. I almost finished a book about the world stopping shopping, and suddenly the world stopped shopping. It reinforces everything I have discovered until then-from a very clear fact-yes, if we stop shopping, we must take the terrible economic consequences very seriously, until the way we behave changes and the company sells to us The way the product changes, the environment changes. All these things that I have been watching are playing before my eyes.

Now that the number of COVID-19 cases is declining, people are beginning to talk about “retaliation shopping.”

History tells us that this may be the direction of development. But I do think that many people will feel uneasy about this. Some of us feel totally desperate about this.

It’s important to know where [the idea of revenge shopping] From because it is strongly encouraged-political and business leaders call for a consumer-oriented recovery from these downturns. We are more deeply immersed in the values ??of materialism and consumerism than most people realize.

We really have to start discussing how we structure our lives and society so that we can begin to develop life skills in different ways.

This book describes people who are developing these skills.

Yes, turn to people who are willing to be simple and persistent for a long time. Most of these people are deeply satisfied with their lifestyle.

They did not build their own values ??around materialism, property, income, status and image, but devoted time and energy to strong relationships with people they care about, developing their skills and expertise, and being in the natural world Spend time in the middle.

What is the impact of embracing more green products and energy?

Of course, clean, green technologies and energy are important to reduce the impact of our consumption, but they are destroyed by the scale of our consumption.

In addition to buying less, what can we as consumers do?

As consumers, we can actively ask the companies we buy from, and they will turn to sell less and sell more.

We can take some concrete measures to prevent the elimination in the plan. France has made planned scrapping illegal.We can ask Life tag About the products we purchased.

True cost accounting [which includes the environmental toll in the “cost” of any product]I think this is indeed one of the key levers we can use.

This puts the social and ecological crisis of product manufacturing in the product price, and doing so will change everything.

Alice Hopton

This interview was conducted through Zoom. It has been edited and compressed.

Reader feedback

It’s June, and outdoor activities are beckoning. To celebrate the warmer weather, we want to hear about your garden—specifically, how are you different this year? Are you planting new vegetables? Consider pollinators when planting? Make the lawn fluffy?

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What are the old problems on earth? right here.

There is also a radio show and podcast! One million species are in danger of extinction. Climate change makes things worse. this week, what happened Moderator Laura Lynch looks at how scientists use big data and new technologies to maintain the integrity of biodiversity. what happened It will be broadcast in Newfoundland on Sunday at 12:30 pm and 1 pm.Subscribe to your favorite podcast app or listen on demand at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


Big picture: Celebrating Blackbird Week

In May of last year, Christian Cooper noticed that a dog got off the leash while birding at his favorite spot in Central Park, New York. He asked its owner Amy Cooper (Amy Cooper) to abide by the rules of the park and tie it to a belt. Instead, she called the police and lied that “an African American” was “threatening” her. This encounter has attracted the attention of the whole world-and the Black Bird Week was born, drawing attention to black people who happen to be birds.

The events of 2020 affected Shay Smith, 39, who lives in Brampton, Ontario, in two ways. First, he was shocked by the woman’s reaction. Second, he realized, “Black people watch birds!”

“I started studying bird watching and was fascinated,” Smith said in an email to CBC. “Whether it’s watching hummingbirds sliding into the flowers and sipping nectar grown in Jamaica, or watching the red-tailed eagle soaring from the balcony of my apartment, I think I’ve always been fascinated by birds, but I didn’t realize it.”

Although he said that if he was bird watching in a nearby place, he would indeed see some strange eyes, but he pointed out that most people are very friendly and would chat with him and even pointed out the birds they had seen.

Smith (pictured below, and some of his photos) shared some of his findings as @suburbirder Twitter with Instagram, And said that the most powerful aspect of Black Birders Week is the sense of representation. “Until you see the person you identify with is doing something that you don’t think is relevant to you, you don’t know the influence of the representative.”

Black Birders Week is part of a larger network called Black in X, It started in the United States and aims to promote the work of black scientists in various fields through dedicated weeks. Smith hopes that this will continue to “break down other people’s stereotypes and prejudices about black people and where we have a place, especially in STEM.”

Nicole Mortilaro

(Suburban Bird/Twitter)

Popularity and annoyance: provocative ideas from the Internet


Why photos of felled trees on Vancouver Island go viral on the Internet

(Lorna Beecroft)

Last week, a photo of Nanaimo taken by Lorna Beecroft went viral on social media. It received more than 15,000 shares on Twitter and 18,000 shares on Facebook. This photo (see above) shows a huge spruce log being towed away on a highway on Vancouver Island.

Beecroft said that she took this photo because she was shocked when she saw a big tree fell.

“It’s actually unbelievable…it’s too inconsistent,” Beecroft said. “I have never seen such a big tree on a truck. It may be 1,000 years old.”

This photo touched the nerves of the world within a week. More than 127 people were arrested for trying to protect ancient trees near the Fairy Creek Basin on Vancouver Island. Demonstrators gathered near Port Renfrew to try to stop Tier Jones’ logging operations. The RCMP has started to enforce court bans and expelled protesters who hindered legal logging in the area.

Beecroft said that after posting the photo, she received news from as far away as Japan, Denmark and Germany condemning the disappearance of the old tree.

BC officials confirmed late last week that the tree photographed by Beecroft was felled in the northern part of Vancouver Island in 2020, a few months before the introduction of new regulations to protect giant trees.

In an email response to CBC News, a spokesperson for the BC Forest Department stated that the tree photographed by Beecroft was felled between March and mid-August last year, and then “one month before the special tree protection regulations came into effect. “Transported by Western Forest Products. Effective September 11, 2020. “

“The government introduced this regulation to protect the oversized trees of all species in the province. Today, harvesting trees of this size under this regulation is likely to be illegal. If so, you may be fined up to 100,000 U.S. dollars. “The e-mail said.

On Friday night, Western Forest Products issued a statement on Twitter stating that it did not harvest or transport logs and would share a report on the matter with the province.

Beecroft said she was not a “hippie maniac” because she was tagged by some people online. She used to work in the logging industry in the interior of British Columbia. She said she supports logging but feels that the ancient giant trees need protection.

Beecroft said: “Especially now, people are trying to make sure we don’t cut down these old trees, my God, this is the tree they are fighting for, and it’s driving on the road now.” “It’s like It’s like watching someone shoot the last dodo. We can’t do that.”

John Kendall, a registered professional forester at Khowutzun Freegro TreeShelters, said that the wood that can be produced from this tree alone is valuable, but its value is much more than that.

He said: “In terms of wood, it is about 45 cubic meters worth about $30,000.” “But other values ??are priceless.”

It turns out that huge logs will be milled in Port Alberni and turned into guitar parts at Acoustic Woods Ltd., a small family sawmill that produces musical instrument parts. Ed Dicks of Acoustic Woods said that the logs will make about 3,000 guitar soundboards.

“We don’t even like those logs,” Dix said. “They are too big for us to deal with. But when we buy logs, we may not be able to see and choose what we want to buy.”

When she learned the purpose of this majestic log, Beecroft said she was happy that at least it would be used to make “very awesome things.”

Yvette Brand

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Editor: Andre Mayer | Logo Design: Managed McNalty





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