Eco-Living Magazine

Environmental Guilt

Posted on the 04 August 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Environmental GuiltThe more I know and learn about sustainability, the harder time I have making decisions (and I know I am not alone in this problem).  I often try to think of the life cycle assessment about my choices in order to make the decision that is the most sustainable decision.  This is true for choices involving food, my child, and basic way of living.

The issue I am now having is the more I learn about a subject, the more I am finding there is no best decision.  Often there is only an okay choice than the worst choice.  For example, when you really think about food choices there is no best choice in deciding how you eat and what you eat.  Every type of food has an impact and its own sustainability issues, it just boils down to what is most important (or not) to you. I almost feel like a politician in that I talk about many important issues that I care about.  Yet, when it really comes down to a decision or life style choice, I can only focus on one or two main issues.   If you are a person that eats local food, you are being conscious of how far your food travels but you probably still eat meat or commercially raised produce.  If you are vegan you are being conscious of the impact animals and their products have on the environment, but you probably don’t eat in season or locally.  So how can you argue which is best?  It just depends on what is most important to you- impacts from transportation or animals.
This can be applied to any subject, so unfortunately environmental guilt can easily contaminate your every choice.  Environmental guilt can make decision making impossible, similar to having too many choices.  I feel that this could easily overwhelm me if I didn’t focus on a few key decision that are most important to me.

  • Eating locally and in season as much as possible
  • Not eating meat every day
  • Having as little trash in my trash can at the end of the week
  • Living simply
  • If I can make it myself, I will

I feel many of my decisions in life surround these main concepts and help me realize what is most important to me.  I would recommend doing this in order to help you realize what is most important to you when considering sustainability to help with future decisions.

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