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Press Release | Environment

Press Release: How Big is the Pie? A Sustainability Story

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Let’s us simplify the vagueness and complexity of the buzz word ‘sustainability’.

You’ve toiled over your family’s favourite pie all day, getting it just perfect! Your five member family congregates in the kitchen, to take in the aroma, two minutes before the oven timer is scheduled to go off. Just then, there is a bell! No, it’s not the timer – still 90 seconds to go. It’s the door bell. Hmm, who could it be?

You open the door and there are three unexpected arrivals, close family friends. It’s only fifteen minutes before dinner, and it’s apparent they will be staying. A quick mental reference confirms the main course will be enough for everyone; after all, it’s pasta night! But, as the sweet smell of the pie hits you upon your return to the kitchen, you know that the size of the pie is going to present a challenge.

What to do?

Advise your friends that there is not enough for everyone and to eat elsewhere. An option, but not very hospitable.

Next approach could be to have dinner, but not let on that there is a pie. Yep, a definite possibility but it won’t be very popular with the family. It would mean a prolonged wait.

The option that many would choose is to cut the pie into smaller portions so that everyone could share in the delicious goodness.

You never know, maybe one of the guests would opt out in favour of protecting her waistline, thereby allowing for slightly larger slices for everyone else. You can only hope.

Of course, the option not yet presented, is to make a new pie. Go to the store, buy a new pie crust, spend the time cutting up apples, preparing other ingredients, and allow time for baking and cooling. However, we did say that we only have 15 minutes until dinner.

Now let’s take this on a larger scale. Our planet. The pasta meal represents our human needs; the apple pie represents the excess beyond our needs.

Sustainability is the idea that for every human need, we have enough resources from our planet to meet those needs in a continuous cycle. Unsustainability sets in motion the requirement to develop systems that can recreate, replenish or renew at a rate that is outside the natural cycles. As such, we have become dependent on science and technology to expedite the ’pie making cycle’. Because of these advancements, we are desensitized to our dependence on the natural order of cycles and time.

Ironically, advancements have further deteriorated the quality of our natural resources due to contamination of our waters, soil, and air quality. Ecological impacts have been the consequence. Landslides, extinct or mutated species, extreme weather changes, and soils that produce foods with lowered nutrients. These are only some of the ways the impacts are seen and felt by all of us.

It is important to clarify that this is not a story of reductionism, but of awareness. The key is responsible consumerism, which comes from answering the questions, 'Do I or my family really need this?' Or, 'How do I go about buying eco-friendly, versatile, long-lasting, and classic products?'’

Dezreen Dixon

Writer, Green Consultant, Business Owner


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