At the end of 2022, I feel compelled to spend some time and words on my personal sustainability progress this year. A bit of good news is that this topic tends to be in the forefront of my thoughts and my conscious decision making, at least more so than in the past years. I still have not applied specific metrics – this is a fault, but I’m not certain how large of one.
From my (admittedly likely incorrect) perspective, I have improved a bit. Not enough, but a bit. Automobile usage is down considerably, which I consider to be one of my largest opportunities for impact. My consumer choices continue to reflect my desire to improve sustainability – generally less and less of those items that are just indefensible. No more fruit from South America, disposable plastic sacks, etc. etc. I think I have improved in the area of re-use. There are many items that now serve three or four functions before finally ending up in the recycling bins and my volume of plain household waste is down significantly. I have failed in personal composting – with my volumes and type of organic waste, it just did not work. I am hopeful for a community composting program and participated in a site selection meeting to support it, but it has not been realized as yet. All of my airline voyages (only 3 big trips this year, so less…) have been offset by charitable / CO2 balancing contributions, but I don’t feel that has a big impact.
On the positive side, I remain proud of my work and my industries movement towards greater sustainability and less environmentally unfriendly behaviors. More policy publications by client companies and a general increase in the industry recognition of the importance of this area. However, there is clearly more work to do. ‘
I remain plagued by what is described in one of my book recommendations as “Prognostic Myopia“. (If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal: What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity, chapter 7, by Justin Gregg.) I know and realize that individual actions and behaviors are not sustainable, yet I do them anyway…. Sigh, I suppose if we humans did exactly what we were supposed to all the time, we would be very boring.
In any case, better this year than last and I will continue my efforts.