Reduce, reuse, repair, recycle to make the Earth sustainable

We must learn to live within our planet’s capacity, writes John Cossham

I’ve been writing this column for just over two years and it is time to move on. So this is my last one. I’ve covered a multitude of subjects connected with sustainability, lower carbon choices and how to live more ethically.

Over that time, I’ve learned that the issues we face are far more serious than I thought and humanity is looking at challenges of enormous proportions. Issues include poverty, health inequalities, over consumption and waste, pollution, population, and the biggie – climate change. They are all going to make life increasingly difficult over the coming years.

However, I’m an optimist and believe that once we know the truth about something, it is possible to make changes in our lives to accommodate the new reality. I believe that social workers care deeply about other people; reading Community Care reinforces that view. As caring and informed people, it is our duty to extend that care to include the way in which we live our lives.

A responsible pet owner keeps the cage clean and ensures a regular food supply. As custodians of the Earth, we need to keep our environment clean, reduce the amount of waste and pollution we emit, and ensure our actions don’t harm the other inhabitants of this little cage spinning through space.

The solutions are, on the face of it, simple. Use less oil and other fossil fuels, and the stuff made from them. Do things more locally to cut the transport. Eat food which hasn’t been drenched with fertiliser and pesticides, and grow some of your own. Buy Fairtrade. Reduce, reuse, repair, recycle. Be kind to each other and develop community. And have fun, make time for enjoyment!

Living within the carrying capacity of the planet can be better and healthier than what we have grown used to. I wish you all well with your journey.

This article is published in the 18 June issue of Community Care magazine under the heading It doesn’t have to end like this

Read John Cossham’s previous columns

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