By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | November 6, 2009
Vital statistics (name, age, location)?
Can, 28, Brooklyn NY
How do you reside (apartment or house, roommates)? Are your housing decisions dictated by choice or necessity? Please explain.
I live in a Brooklyn loft with 2 other roommates. I think, me and my roommates were pretty lucky having ended up in a decent and fun loft. It was both a choice and a necessity considering the housing market in New York. We made a choice of going for building our own loft (bedrooms, walls etc..), the necessity dictated was rather financial – as usual.
How do you travel (transit, car, etc)? Are your travel decisions dictated by choice or necessity? Please explain.
I always use public transit. I still find it extremely scary to bike in the city even though I biked for daily commute for years before moving to NY.
Tell us about a Tiny Choice you’ve made in your life.
I think going for vegan and choosing a rather simplistic life style free from chemicals and mainstream capitalism were the best ecological decisions I’ve made, and I do think that they are rather “tiny”. At first glance, they all looked rather scary. But, once I started, that was easy. Apart from that, I think buying and using second hand goods/clothes as much as possible is a recent tiny choice I’ve made. I have rather hard feelings for the fashion industry and the associated consumerism and all of its ecological consequences. Now, I feel extremely good when I put on the pair of jeans I recycled from a thrift-store.
What is the one environmental dilemma you personally struggle the most with?
I am a computer geek. As all the computers and electronics are one way or the other are associated with some weird mine that is usually obtained from poor and dictatorial countries in Africa (FYI: http://www.globalissues.org/article/442/guns-money-and-cell-phones); I try so hard not to renew my computers or cell phones [yes, I still avoid the iPhone!]. But after some stage when it becomes inevitable, I cannot resist anymore. I felt terrible for months after I purchased a cell phone last year after an almost one year break!
What is one Tiny Choice you can make in that direction?
I try to be very gentle to my electronics and computers so that they can last longer. I also follow the Ethical Consumer magazine’s report on such manufacturers when I make a purchase.
What is the one environmental Tiny Choice you make that people question (in either a positive educational or a negative hassle way) you the most about?
Without question, being a herbivore! It is changing, but I am coming from a culture where animal flesh is considered as “the” food.
What is the one environmental Tiny Choice you would like every single person to adopt?
I think consuming less would be my biggest wish for every single person to adopt. I’ve always believed that consumerism is a conseqeunce of selfishness which is such a big “crime” towards the ecological system. Meat-eating, CO2 emissions all are, in my opinion, immediate results of the same human(e) defect. I still do believe that it is a tiny choice, just a little shift to make.
Do you feel like you make sacrifices for environmentalism? Please explain.
Sometimes, I do. Seeing all the people in this hedonistic city having “fun” caring about nothing, consuming so much, wasting so much, thinking less and talking more and loud; I often times feel like an outcast. But, I guess, this is not so unusual. My stand is, after all, a political decision. It will have some negative consequences for sure.
Are you generally: optimistic, pessimistic, neutral about environmentalism and the future?
It depends. I can’t say I am 100% optimistic or pessimistic. There are a lot of things that give me so much hope such as wind powered industries or radical ecological activism in Europe. However, at the same time, there are infinitely many things that make me deppressed. Yet, this is a rather psychological reaction, not a rational or political one and I think, I am fully aware of this fact.
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