Right, now take your head out of the wardrobe and look around your home.
Anything made using wood or metal probably required machinery to manufacture, machinery driven by- electricity? Oil? Sure even the fabric of our houses cost the earth in terms of fossil fuels; do you know how much ‘making’ goes into cement blocks? Plasterboard? Flooring of every sort including lino and carpets? Have you PVC windows, fascia boards, guttering, outside doors? The wiring- plastic coated, the piping-some plastic. Solar panels?
How about the contents of your home? I’m writing with a plastic biro, will type this on a plastic computer keyboard. Does any room NOT contain plastic? And every single bit of plastic is processed oil- EVERY BIT! Now imagine removing every single plastic item, or items with say 50% or more plastic parts from your home: Oh whoops! There goes the laptop, computer, all my CDs, cassettes, DVDs, toiletries, cleaning agents, sandals, trainers, kitchen implements, scissors, the loo seat (aargh!) some cupboards and furniture (coated chipboard), vacuum cleaner, crockery, food containers, bottles, kettle, freezer possibly and fridge…chairs…Gee guys! My house looks awfully empty and inconvenient, not to mention UNCOMFORTABLE!
So when we consider the consumption of fossil fuels we can NOT simply think in terms of transport, or fuel, or even electricity production; fossil fuels and their spin-off impact upon and permeate our lives. We are not just dependant upon them, we are so dependant that we take them for granted and are blind to them.
Personally I have no desire to live like a Flintstone, or return to the Stone Age, or even Medieval times really, but folks we are wasting resources daily here at a rate of knots- and I haven’t even BEGUN on water! And we are the so-called enlightened ones, the aware, the ground-breakers, the crusaders- what about the folks who are ignorant of their actions, who don’t care, or who are too impoverished to change?
Action is a luxury, morals and ethics and choice even greater luxuries: if a person is barely surviving they don’t have the energy or mental resources to care what effect their deeds have in the broaderpicture, and why should they? What choice have they been left? I’m not just referring to people in the third world either, but the poor within our own countries as well.
I know I am skidding lightly over many, many issues here- I could talk for Ireland! We need to be aware, thoughtful, looking to the future as well as learning from our past and conserving what we have that is good in the present- and there IS good, but we need to shake awake more people too.
Even toothbrushes are made of plastic…and imported…