Spring Morning At The Pond - Surrealistic impressionistic artwork by Jacob Berghoef

Why reduce your ecological footprint?

People can have very different reasons for wanting to reduce their ecological footprint. And one person can go through very different motivations in the time she/he works on reducing it.

Below I describe what has been going on for me over the past 10 years, in the hope that there is something in there that will give you recognition and motivate you to get started.

Several motivations I mention here, you will come across again elsewhere on this website, for example on a specific topic…

When we decided to make our lives simpler and more sustainable about 10 years ago, it was mainly motivated by seeing the poor treatment of animals in livestock and fishing industries, and by becoming aware of the huge amount of unused stuff in our home.

Shortly after that we developed a desire to step out of the rat race and live more sustainably and partially self-sufficiently, not wanting to wait until we reached retirement age, and thus the "need" to live more simply so that you can afford that desired life 10 years before retirement.

Over time, more arguments have been added as we have become increasingly aware of what our consumption behavior, humanity's consumption behavior, is doing to the earth. We realized that all the major problems on earth are caused by overconsumption.

The overconsumption in rich countries exhausts the earth, destroys nature and biodiversity, depletes the soil, severely poisons land and oceans, pollutes the air, causes poverty and inequality... How can we waste 30% of our food, while 1 in 9 people on earth goes hungry? How can we be so careless with the earth and so selfish that a significant portion of humanity falls short? How can we continue to consume more than we are entitled to, thus stealing from nature, from fellow humans, from future generations and leaving them an unlivable earth?

More and more we felt the need not to participate in that, to distance ourselves from it. And we hoped that by showing that you can live very happily and contentedly with little, we hoped that we would inspire other people to take similar steps.

In the past few years, with seeing an escalation of climate issues in a lot of areas and the ever-advancing scientific substantiation of the causes, an important reason for wanting to reduce the ecological footprint has been added: to prepare yourself and make yourself stronger to be able to accept and withstand the changes, which we believe are undoubtedly coming and partly already here. Adaptation, mitigation, resilience... You read these words more and more, and for good reasons.

Failed harvests, rising food prices, overall inflation, problems with global transportation of all kind of goods, shortages of clean water (even in Western countries) government budgets that are coming under increasing pressure because of ever-increasing expenses for disaster relief and climate measures...

Although everyone can "grow" something to eat themselves, if only in a pot in the windowsill or on the balcony, there are very few who can, if needed, immediately fully provide for their own food needs.

Then it is worth a lot if you are accustomed to a simple life, to healthy eating based on local products, to be skilled at making a nutritious meal based on what the season offers, and are not completely at a loss because the supermarket has empty shelves.

In short, if you have distanced yourself somewhat from the (over)consumer society, if you are able to live with less, then you can also be more resilient when needed.

Artwork: Spring Morning at The Pond

I sit on a stone,
on the west side of the pond

Staring at the water,
Nobody understands why

All I want is to see how
the rising sun colors the flowers
in the ripples
of a gentle spring breeze.

All content © 2014-2020  Jacob Berghoef