4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
This can be a tough principle if really taken to heart – it means we have to take responsibility for ourselves! Everything thing we do provides some sort of feedback that we need to accept and potentially allow it to change our actions, our approach and the way we do life.
For me, this includes watching how plants grow in the garden – are they responding to the inputs I am providing? Are they receiving enough water, sunshine etc? If they are not thriving, then this is feedback I need to accept and then I need to work out how to better provide for this plant – ultimately so it can provide for me.
If you have animals in your care, are they healthy? Is the diet you are providing them giving them the nutrients they need? Is their environment close to what they would experience in the wild?
Purchasing food is one area where sustainability and taking responsibility can be quite obvious and achievable.
If you are a meat eater are you eating meat that is ethically grown and humanely slaughtered? Do the chickens run free with the availability of ground to scratch and worms to peck? Do they lay their eggs in laying boxes? Or cramped sheds where they can’t stretch their wings, let alone find any little worms to savour? Do the cows that provide your beef spend their life cramped into feedlots,eat GMO grain and not even know what green grass looks like, or is it from cows that have low stress lives, roaming green, organically-managed paddocks, eating grass and hay? Does your lamb come from milk-fed, 2 month old babies or does it come from grass fed, free range older lambs who have had a good life? Which systems do you think are more likely to be sustainable? The more sustainable systems will provide food into the future.
If you are vegetarian, where does your food come from? How many food miles are associated with that exotic fruit you are eating (if you live in the tropics – probably not many!). Do you eat seasonally and purchase your supplies from local farmers who use organic or bio dynamic growing methods? Or are you buying GMO corn shipped from the USA, profiting the huge multinationals who don’t care too much for your health? Is that sustainable?
By taking responsibility for our own actions and choosing sustainable options we ensure our food supply is sustainable, for both consumers and producers alike. What sustainable choice can you make today?