It may be long, but it's an important read.
It is undeniable that human society is degrading the natural environment of the Earth. We're experiencing peak levels of water pollutants while the largest mass-extinction in written history is laying waste to biodiversity across the globe. Changes in weather patterns are responsible for draughts of biblical proportions in India, deadly fires devastating California, and the more than six feet of water that flooded Venice, causing irreparable damage to historic and cultural sites.
In response to these threats, we are consistently placing the responsibility of taking environmental action on legislators and large corporations. We at The FIG posit that this approach to climate action is flawed.
60% of global carbon emissions and 80% of global waste are the direct result of consumer decisions. In the United States, the average citizen consumes more than 18 times more resources than the feasible average global citizen consumption.
While we like to pretend that it's both big business and government that should take action to solve environmental issues, the collective impacts of consumers amount to significantly more than that of both the private and public industries.
Okay, so then what? How do we reduce our consumption without sacrificing the convenience and comfort that we've come to expect in the 21st century?
While the common prescription, offered by both politicians and experts, involves renewable energy and alternatively powered vehicles, the power of the individual to change these infrastructure systems is marginal. There is far more that we can each do beyond calling our politicians and boycotting consumer holidays.
Traditionally, our lifestyle and purchasing decisions have been left out of the discussions surrounding the impacts of our consumption habits. Recent estimates, however, put consumer goods and convenience related items at nearly 15% of an individuals total consumption footprint. Lifestyle decisions such as driving instead of walking or biking, buying produce from big-box stores instead of local farmers markets, and countless other small swaps that aren't made contribute massively to the issues that we're facing.
There is a bright side. The scale of our impacts from these kinds decisions gives us the potential to make small adjustments to our lifestyle and significantly reduce our impacts. While cutting our consumption in these ares won't necessarily solve the climate crisis, it's a step in the right direction, and a step that's getting easier to take. It's important that we are conscious of the lifestyle and purchasing decisions that we make every day, and we're here to make it easy to make better ones.
When you support a company that utilizes renewable energy or environmentally friendly materials in their manufacturing process, you feed more capital into that sustainable system. This, in turn, allows the technology to scale and become cheaper and more widespread, ultimately accelerating the movement towards sustainable alternatives.
Supporting businesses with social missions directly stimulates the communities that they operate in. Purchasing a product from Jelt enables disadvantaged females to earn a living in circumstances that would normally prevent that. Jetty sponsors numerous community events throughout the year and inspires people to get out and have a positive impact on the world.
If we take steps to make sure that our lives and the businesses we support are forces for good, we can shift the paradigm that's currently pitting the free market and convenience against the interests of the human race. These steps are as simple as refraining from making irresponsible decisions and paying attention the companies that you purchase from.
We at The FIG know that vetting choices, companies and products is no easy task, so we have done that for you. We're in the business of making it easy to live well and buy products from socially and environmentally responsible brands—the business of making it easy to cultivate a better world. Our mission is to give you the power to vote with your actions and your wallet, and we're just getting started.
There's a lot more to say, but there's a lot more to do. We're working hard to be even better. We're excited to start changing the world, and we're excited to have you joining us.