Size is Relative: When Oversized American Kitchens Are Called “Tiny”

Americans have a skewed sense of size. They will use adjectives like “tiny” to describe living spaces and kitchen appliances that would be considered “huge” or at least “normal” in the rest of the world. I have long since learned to expect to see the trend towards glorifying large size and wasted space in American mainstream interior magazines. What surprises and worries me more is to see American environmental activists embracing the idea that their perfectly normal or even large living spaces should be called “tiny.” In my opinion, environmentally conscious people should refuse to accept and embrace American mainstream ideas about what ought to be considered “normal” in terms of size and also in terms of lifestyle choices. After all, size is relative, and we can choose our own vocabulary and benchmarks for what constitutes “large” or “small.” [Read more…]

Do this One Thing for the Climate

Scientists routinely identify some lifestyle habit that contributes to global warming and come up with a better alternative that causes less environmental harm. Then people recommend that others should change their lifestyles and do the better alternative whenever possible. So far so good. And then somebody shows up and says, “Let’s all do this one thing and we will save the planet.” Um, no, that’s not how it works. [Read more…]

Plastic Free July

It’s July now. The month in which people are reminded that they could try to reduce the amount of waste they create. Plastic Free July challenge encourages people to refuse single-use plastics in July (and beyond). The idea is that people can experiment with ways how to reduce the amount of plastic waste they create, find great alternatives for disposable goods, and hopefully also develop some new and better lifestyle habits.

What can you do? Here is a list of some basic ideas you can try. And in this blog post I have already written about how individuals can try to reduce the amount of waste they create. Basically, avoid single-use plastic packaging for the goods you buy, refuse takeaway items (plastic bags, bottles, straws, coffee cups), replace single-use items with reusable items (for example, safety razors and glass straws instead of plastic equivalents).

And here’s a picture with a summery of various things you can try to live with less waste:

Live with Less Waste

How to Live with Less Waste

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How to Reduce the Amount of (Plastic) Waste You Produce

Modern lifestyles result in people creating a lot of waste. Plastic waste from single use items and packaging. Food waste. Last generation iPhones. Electronics that are actually broken and cannot be repaired or recycled (often due to planned obsolescence). Clothes that were worn for a couple of times and then thrown out. I believe that human societies should change how we live towards something more environmentally friendly. Those are the kind of lifestyle changes that must be simultaneously done by a significant portion of the society in order to make a difference, but individuals can still try to do at least something. [Read more…]