There have been a flurry of bad ideas related to the environment in the news this week. First up, two companies are in a race to be the first to successfully mine asteroids in the quest for precious minerals, including platinum. With mineral prospecting extending to all corners of the globe including the deep oceans, I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone would see dollar signs instead of stars when they looked skyward.
The other bit that caught my eye was a story about a new study that theorized if billions of tons of mineral dust can be sprinkled across the oceans, it would offset vast quantities of climate-warming carbon dioxide. Crazy? Well, when you read the line about how one of the nasty side effects is that it would alter the biology of the oceans, “crazy” doesn’t begin to cover it.
My point is this. We (meaning all us humans) use too much stuff. Stuff can mean everything from natural resources to the consumer products we buy.
So rather than working to find more natural resources we can pillage or ways to justify the emissions from a few new coal-burning plants, why don’t we focus our attention on ways to live using and buying less?
This may sound odd coming from the president of a ninety-two year old retail jewelry company, but yes, that includes buying less jewelry too. I am not calling for total abstinence or for a rejection of all worldly goods. I am simply an advocate of “choose wisely.”
This means choosing locally-produced goods rather than those shipped from far away. (Extra points to you if you walk or ride your bike to a local shop.) It means choosing products that are well-crafted and designed to last. (A disposable culture is not a sustainable culture.) It means working with a small company (which tends to have a much smaller ecological footprint and offers more return to the local community in which you live) than a big corporation. It means making sure the things you no longer want or need are properly recycled or placed in a new home with someone who can use them. It means focusing on quality and not quantity.
Does this directly relate to mining the next passing asteroid or altering our oceans? Not directly, but everything is interconnected.