I know a large part of my ecoprint above comes because I eat meat, I drive a car, and I have electricity (one car, and efficient/green electricity, but still). I’ve done reasonably well on the areas outside those parameters, although I still need to use less processed/packaged foods, and my footprint would go way down if I ate meat less often. I’m not about to give up my computer though.
The thread on women changing/keeping surnames talks about where we draw our own personal conformist/nonconformist lines with respect to the battles against societal expectations that we choose to fight or not fight, as few of us have the energy and commitment to be as pure in every regard as we might like in our most idealistic moments. It certainly is easier to conform with our consumerist society, not just because others look askance at the hippie treehuggers, but because it takes more time and effort to use goods and services that reduce your ecological footprint, and they often cost more than the less sustainable options as well. (Lauredhel has also pointed out previously (wish I could find the post) that the extra time and effort to live green tends to fall disproportionately upon women in a partnership/family, so there’s a feminist slant to this argument as well.)
Our next car is going to be smaller and greener. I’ve fallen into lazy habits with processed/packaged food recently, which tends to be part of my Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I need to push myself more there as Spring draws me out of that anyway. More meals without meat, and less meat bulk in the meals which include it.
I dream of a Green-designed house, but that’s not financially on the cards for us for quite a few years. Encouraging housing built with an eye to ecological footprint reduction is an area distinctly lacking in Australian public policy, particularly the housing approval authorities’ prejudice against earth-covered homes even (especially?) in high bushfire danger areas.
We all know what we can do privately, and make our choices there depending on what else we can afford to sacrifice to take the green option over the wasteful one. But what more can we encourage in public policy?