Can the recession make us more mindful?
By Alejandra Cerda Ojensa
I was talking to a friend the other day about the lifestyle changes people make due to the rise in electricity prices. We quickly established that habits that might be new to some families, others already do all the time.
We are being advised to wear extra pairs of socks and lower the temperature in our homes, shut off the water while we’re shampooing or brushing our teeth, change the lightbulbs to low-energy ones, and so on – minor things that many already do for environmental reasons, or due to low incomes.
It reminds me of when the pandemic came to Stockholm when I was living there. Shelves in the grocery store were quickly emptied of dry foods like lentils and beans – cheap food that is common in vegan homes, but also in low-income homes. Many times, the sustainable option is also the cheaper option, but not always, and it upsets me to see how unequally the recession hits.
Hopefully, the current situation will invite more families to be mindful of what they consume, eat more plant-based foods, leave the car at home and choose public transport – easy steps to reduce our environmental footprint. But I would also like to invite those who can afford it, to continue supporting small and sustainable businesses, and to go for the eco-friendly options even if they sometimes cost a little more. We need those businesses to survive for a better planet.
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