Everyday Sustainability

General principles

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Wendell Berry’s criteria for tool replacement

  1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
  2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
  3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
  4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
  5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
  6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
  7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
  8. It should come from a small, privately-owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
  9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.
from Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer - Wendell Berry

First encountered in this post on grinding your coffee by hand: Endorsement: Grinding Your Coffee by Hand - Submitted For Your Perusal


See the separate note Sustainable food


TODO: Write more


TODO: Write more


See the separate note Sustainable food


Shoes have been difficult for me. Even as a child I remember thinking that repairing shoes were impossible and that they seemed to be difficult products to produce in an environmentally friendly manner. This because of all their layers and soles; a great many materials are needed to make a shoe, all glued up of course.

As an adult I realise that it does not have to be this way, and that it is possible to produce long lasting, repairable shoes. It’s just the case that this isn’t what is currently done for the most part.

This is then why I often choose to walk barefoot in summer and buy new shoes as rarely as I can.

Technology (hardware)

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Digital carbon footprint

Meaning the carbon footprint of the production and usage of digital devices and media (the internet).

While high it is still negligible for most people. Especially considering its democratic nature.

Compare internet services with goods and services from other carbon intensive sectors available only to a global select few (aviation, high living standards, meat)

… you should try to use your devices as long as possible before disposing of them. The reason is that a large share of emissions related to the ICT devices occur already during production.

… The ICT sector’s carbon footprint of 730 million tonnes of CO2-eq almost matches the 800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from burning fuel across the aviation industry – 80 percent of this associated with travelling. However, that number excludes the production of the fuel, the footprint of airplanes, the operation of airports and high-altitude effects. Moreover, it does not consider that the difference in number of users is huge. Approximately 70 percent of the global population use ICT, but it is estimated that only 10 percent of the global population use aviation services on a yearly basis.

from What’s the real climate impact of digital technology? - Ericsson

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