As we end this year I’m going to get philosophical instead of my usual pragmatic nerdery. I’ve been reading a lot of criticisms of technology and people for being imperfect. Yes Greta Thunberg ate food out of plastic containers, AOC rode in a minivan, EV batteries do have an environmental impact to create, and even my solar panels were delivered in gas powered trucks.
Trolls would have you believe we should discredit anything that’s not perfect, while neglecting any progress or realizing we can’t control everything. I can’t magically put EVs at every airport rental counter and chargers at every hotel powered by wind or solar. Greta can’t magically make more foods get packed in compostable containers. I don’t think we should not work or eat until we solve the world’s problems.
The reality is we should be proud of what we actually have done and encourage other people and companies to improve what’s practical and effective. To that end in the year to come I suggest the following:
- Choose a couple things you can do to reduce your impact – no matter if that’s installing solar power or just bringing your own cup to get coffee, chose what you can realistically do better next year.
- Share the word – one person being perfect is often less effective than many people making modest changes. Getting 5 friends to insulate their ceilings and install smart thermostats would have more environmental effect than just about any project you could do to your own home.
- Ask for change from businesses you regularly do business with. I’ve asked IHG Hotels to reduce the trash created by their breakfasts – I suggested using reusable or compostable materials instead of disposable. If enough people ask for something some businesses will act on the demand.
- Vote with your dollars – frequent the businesses that try to do better. I made it clear to IHG Hotels if their competition does better on these matters, I’d switch where I stay.
Okay that’s enough soapbox for one year, I promise more nerdery next time.