Right To Fly - I have the right to fly To grow, to prosper The right to be To raise offspring To feed you and others To be fed myself Who defends our rights? Surrealistic digital art, based on fine art nature photography by Jacob Berghoef

Our ecological footprint

Over the past 10 years, my wife and I have worked hard to change our lives to one that consumes much less, is much more sustainable, and is even a bit regenerative, meaning that sometimes we manage to give back to nature more than what we received.

What motivated us to start doing this, and continues to motivate us in all the choices we make, is the growing realization that our lifestyle has a great impact on others.
Others as in people close to us, very far away or in the future. Others as in animals. Others as in natural systems that are touched or even destroyed by our choices, or that we give the opportunity to grow and flourish by making other choices.
What are still important motivations for me personally are my love for nature and all life, and my ability to see the whole picture from a distance, without letting my personal interests and preferences play a role in it (which is not to say that I don't have an opinion about something...). Moreover, in my blueprint is that I like to inspire people with what I myself have learned through trial and error.

What I sincerely hope is that this write-up will contribute something to your awareness of what the consequences of your lifestyle are, and that the tips and examples will help you make some change there for the good of others.

We have simplified our lives, consume much less and eat plant-based foods. We are convinced herbivores, not principled vegans. We do not want to inflict suffering on animals through industrial animal husbandry, dairy, fishing....
Seeing some documentaries about that and reading articles, very basically has also been the trigger to change our lives as far as food is concerned....

It is not an easy road, but it is very rewarding, because we feel healthy, inspired and able to inspire others, and more in harmony with the earth and nature (for which you really don't have to live IN nature!) and with other people who have similar values.
Do we miss the luxury of buying and owning? No, because we still own what is really important to us, and not owning more than that is a liberation, allows us to breathe freely.

In these pages I give you some ways to reduce your ecological footprint.
It is a list that often starts from what is maximally possible. What path you take to get there, what your end goal is, where you pause along the way and how much time you take is up to you to decide.

I believe that consuming in the quantities we are used to in wealthier countries is an addiction. Every human has to consume to stay alive, but a huge portion of humanity consumes far more than that, far more than what the earth can carry, replenish and handle in dirt and poison during production and waste after use.

Each person has their own way of detoxing from an addiction. Some are very good at reducing slowly, others cannot and have to/will/can stop cold-turkey at once, others absolutely need a substitute during the process. I am a cold-turkey person, my wife is very good at reducing.
Figure out what your way is, and apply that to what I describe below, even if you find yourself not addicted to anything.
In a "mixed household", don't impose anything on the other but create a period where you each allow your own way of withdrawal and help each other with that.

I give only limited explanations of the why of a part, and do not exhaust myself in arguing and proving the necessity or beating around the bush with numbers. If you don't know those arguments and proofs and/or do feel the need to know more, dive into the Internet and/or watch the documentaries I mentioned in the Introduction.

There is a lot of information available and, as with any important topic, opinions are divided on each film or publication. If you want or need more background, watch a lot, read a lot and form your own opinion. Above all, be guided by your gut and not by your conditioned, influenced-by-others mind.

Ready for some info on how to reduce your footprint? Then read on. And for the record, everything I write here can be found on any website that deals with mankind's ecological footprint. Not rocket science, but practical tips that we hope you can use, that will inspire you.

Artwork: Right To Fly (2)

I have the right to fly
To grow, to prosper
The right to be
To raise offspring
To feed you and others
To be fed myself
Who defends our rights?

All content © 2014-2020  Jacob Berghoef