There is not much more to say about not drinking alcohol. It is better for the brain but it doesn’t make you smarter. It’s more fun. So, let’s move on to a new challenge. What would it be like/how can I/what would it take — to go cold turkey on ruining the earth. The basic idea is this: for the next months, become mindful as much as possible every day of what I am doing and what the impact is on the earth. This in turn, leads to thoughts on what the alternatives might be. How sustainable is my current practice? Does this scale to the whole world? Examples from today. 1. I went to our departmental “tea” and had some snacks on a paper plate. I was discussing this with a colleague originally from India. She said that traditionally at large feasts they had used plates made from leaves which were biodegradable. She also mentioned using simple disposable cups made of clay which quicky returned to the earth. 2. Lunch: well, what are the choices? A purely vegetarian diet means less stress on the planet since it takes roughly 10 times as much corn, say, to get equivalent calories from corn fed beef as to eat the corn directly. In a polluted world, eating nearer the “bottom” of the food chain is also healthier since many pollutants tend to concentrate more at the higher levels. You are safer eating anchovies for instance, than swordfish. 3. Thirsty, I grab a bottle of water. Hmmm. Recently, they have come out with a more “environmentally friendly” bottle shape. However….water is bottled. So there is the bottle…the energy to create it and the fact that it does not decompose too easily. And, then there is the energy cost of bottling it and shipping it to where I am. Of course, there is lots of ancillary costs as well…a portion of running the data centers of all the various companies along the supply chain. What are the alternatives? Using the tap water. Going thirsty. Getting water more locally. Well, you get the idea. There are so many habits ingrained that we (or at least I) don’t even think about….what if you really wanted to go “cold turkey” on carbon and waste? What would it take?