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The Pursuit of Convenience

The October 2019 issue: sustainability special edition.

We’re all in constant pursuit of convenience, so anything that makes life easier wins in everyday decision-making.

And with relentless progress, with everything from sliced bread onwards, we’ll go for it in droves if it saves us a bit of time and/or energy. Individuals, businesses, producers – so much is driven by convenience, efficiency and cost saving.


Read the articles featuring in the Sustainability Special :

Cloth bum parents - The Falkirk Nappy Library


It’s been great for a hundred years or so; we’ve made massive progress in all sorts of things, and along the way we’ve chucked stuff away because it’s easier to do that than to wash and re-use and definitely easier than mending, and in some contexts more hygienic and safer; we drive everywhere because it’s quicker and we’re always in a hurry; we pour things onto and into crops and animals to make them more productive. It was out of sight and out of mind for most of us, but it’s coming back to bite. We’re drowning in stuff that never goes away; we’re destroying bits of the planet and our local environments and even our own health in order to make everything easy for ourselves.

Convenience will put up a big fight. It definitely does in my life. So when it comes to wanting to live in a low-impact, healthier way, we’re organising into groups - as a testament to the fact that a lot of people want to make changes, a large number of groups has sprung up - support groups, information services, grant funds for environmental health and education, and so on.

I’ve been speaking to some of them locally. A lot of changes that are better for our health and our environment are also fun, satisfying and even save money too – social groups for learning new skills for making, creating, and mending; reducing waste and sharing resources, growing your own food, and much more.

The biggest changes will have to come from business and industry, and while there will ultimately have to be legislation for real change, in the meantime a lot of work is being done taking a scientific approach on a large scale. The Local Lab column from Heriot-Watt University this month gives an example, looking at tackling waste in the building industry.

A beautiful environment and good health to enjoy? That will definitely be the best thing since sliced bread.

A beautiful environment and good health to enjoy? That will definitely be the best thing since sliced bread.

Article published in Konect October 2019

Author: Helen-Jane Shearer


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