Catherine Debruyne / Civil servant

SPW / Biodiversity

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

Overconsumption and our consumption patterns are the dominant factors driving biodiversity loss globally. Without adequate measures at all levels (citizens, sectors, political) this could drive unsustainable levels of agricultural expansion, natural resource and mineral extraction, and urbanization. Furthermore, the consumer is often disconnected from the producer which makes the full impact of our consumption choices on biodiversity loss worldwide not visible due to the distances that can separate many consumers and producers.
Thus, our family of four has decided to try to reduce our footprint as much as possible. We decided to buy less, to buy in bulk and to buy local organic food. We make our own household products, we eliminated all single use objects (q-tips, paper tissue, paper napkins, clingfilm, freezing bags, aluminum foil etc.). We try as much as possible to buy second hand (for clothes, furniture, electronic devices…), we repair as much as we can. We are not a zero waste family, but we try to do our best: for the entire year 2018, we produced 6 garbage bags. More than 2/3 of our garden is kept wild, with hedges, bushes, indigenous flowers mixed with ornamental ones and many nesting boxes. We still go working by car, but we do car sharing as much as we can (3 times a week on average).
The great side of this change is that we buy products of much higher qualities and we still save money compared to our previous consumption lifestyle. Our menus have changed a bit as we limit the use of non local ingredients, but we enjoy our meals even more than before. We can still do much better and we’ll try to continue to think our purchases as wisely as possible, with all the information we have, trying to apply eco effectiveness (try to have a positive impact) rather than eco efficiency (try to limit our negative impacts).
We did this not only because reducing human demand for land and resources is a prerequisite to limit climate change and halt biodiversity loss but also to ensure human well being and a transition towards sustainable and inclusive development.

Originally posted 2018-05-06 04:11:49.