Climatarians on the rise: conscious consumerism
You might have heard of vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, flexitarian…but climatarian? What does this novel term entail? Is it a way of eating? Is it related to environmental activism? Does it describe a new buying behaviour? Is it really novel?
The answer? It’s all of them and more.
Climatarians are here and they care. They care about how their present actions impact the future and they are willing to change, adapt and most importantly, advocate while doing it.
However, it is not about a collective movement or pattern, but about the variety of small, individual details at a personal level that could make a difference. It is about one’s concern for tomorrow and drive to make today better. From eating habits to travelling preferences and resource management, it all comes down to generating the least environmental impact. Climatarianism builds the fundaments of a new embracing-all-manner social and economic behaviour.
A brief look at the roots
The term ‘climatarian’ was first popularised through a publication from The New York Times in 2015. Its appearance was stirred by the emergence of a diet practice aimed at reducing the carbon footprint. One year later, the word became listed in the Cambridge Dictionary defined as ‘a person who chooses what to eat according to what is least harmful to the environment’. As society’s awareness of climate change has continued to grow, so the notion of ‘climatarian’ has begun to grasp new valences.
From thinking beyond your plate to thinking beyond your every step
Today’s climatarian still places importance on conscious eating in all its aspects: sourcing, logistics, packaging, seasonality, plant-based alternatives and waste. However, genuinely caring and trying to drive change implies more. Besides their food choice, today’s climatarians think about how many emissions are generated by the way they dress, move around or entertain themselves. Cloth recycling, train rides over flights, cycling over driving and sustainable home appliances are few of the infinite range of climatarian-friendly practices.
Lead others by inspiring them: how to become a climatarian
We’re going to say it again. The number of possible every-day actions with which we can fight climate change is infinite. Being a climatarian means more than an adjective. It translates into an honest commitment to protect yourself and the planet by starting with minor daily gestures.
Are you ready to make a change for yourself?
Here are some suggestions on how you could lower your footprint successfully (and your costs!).
- Reuse. Recycle: assess critically your needs, lengthen goods’ life or find them new a purpose
- Practice sustainable mobility: choose the least polluting transport mode
Did you know that Amsterdam-Brussels by plane generates between 26 and 56 kg of CO2, while doing the same journey by train produces emissions of just 1.7 to 2 kg?
- Eat wisely: select the most local, seasonal, least processed and least packaged products possible.
Did you know that local food has more nutrients? The time between harvest and your table is shorter, thus it is less likely that the nutrient value of the product decreases. Food imported from far-away states and countries is often older, has travelled and sits in distribution centres before it gets to your store.
- Avoid use of plastic
- Forget the price, check the label first: look for certification marks that guarantee low impact on the planet such as EU Ecolabel.
- Make your home more sustainable: improve your energy and water use efficiency
Did you know that an incandescent lamp converts about 9-10 percent of the energy fed to it into light, whereas LEDs convert nearly 100 percent of the energy they consume as light? Wow. Your wallet definitely felt that.
Living to make a difference
Let’s be frank. Reaching the status of a perfect climatarian is anything but easy. We live in a social and economic context that wants us to consume frenetically. We are used to squandering energy without asking ourselves where it comes from or the consequences wasting it. Nonetheless, we are becoming more aware, more educated and more action-driven. Being consistent with some of the above-mentioned suggestions on a daily basis already makes one part of the progress. So, let’s make it together.
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