And expand we have. At 7 billion strong the human race are a success story, living in a range of climates and terrains. Where city populations were once kept in check by ruthless viruses and diseases, medical advances have enabled people to live long, happy lives. But as our lives take us away from nature and rural lives, we think very little about where the clothes in our wardrobe, the water from our tap and the food on our plate comes from. We think very little (if nothing at all) about the rubbish we put in the trash and where it goes. As the supermarket aisles are full of tuna, we don't question that over fishing is a problem. In our modern lives, we don't necessarily think about the consequences of our actions. We blame governments, multi-national companies and even entire countries. Its easy to look at China and give them a 'tut,' but is anyone (at least those from a western society) free to judge?
When I think of my own carbon foot print, I feel guilt. During my travels, I have seen some of the world's most beautiful places; the great barrier reef and the coral gardens were amazing ecosystems that showed the frailty of nature in the hands of man. I was so blessed to see wild dingoes mingle, koala's hangout, whales breech and sharks swim. It hurts to know my lifestyle choices could mean that the ecosystems that support them could one day collapse.
Like a lot of people out there, I want to start making baby steps to creating a more sustainable lifestyle. However, when you are in the middle of 'travel' (although I have been based in Queenstown for seven months now!) its difficult to find ways of not feeling like your killing the rain forest. My life is riddled with mass consumption and wastage. I love to drink coffee/tea thousands of miles from where it was grown. Everything from the supermarket is packaged and the normal produce is so expensive, I don't dare look at the organic section. It's obvious to say I love the internet too, I dread to think have much energy my internet searches burns.
I thought about shunning society and joining a commune. But my hair is not long enough and I'm scared the other hippies would laugh at me.
I decided on a keep cup. What a lot of people don't know is that the 'paper' cups you get in your local Barista are in fact coated with plastic and are quite difficult to recycle. And the world gets through a lot. If you have at least a few cappuccinos a week, think how many cups you've used this year. And that's just you, what about the billions of other caffeine addicts. I've been trying to be strict with myself, only getting a take away if my keep cup is at hand.
So yeah, it feels a little naive to say 'I'm doing my bit.' because I'm not, but it's a start to better habits.
If there is anyone out there with any helpful tips on being a little more conscious of the environment while you travel, I'd really like to here.