Saturday, March 4, 2023

Is Sharing Our Stuff The Answer to Our Planetary Problems?

It's always an endearing moment on a made-for-TV movie when the 8 year old girl shares their half sandwich with an 8 year old boy (or vice versa). The reality in classrooms, however, is that we teachers really don't allow sharing of food because of "all the reasons": potential of food allergies, "your parent packed that lunch for you and wants you to eat it," "other kids could get jealous," and more.

But I was fascinated when listening to the February 23rd TED Talk Daily entitled "The Surprising Climate Benefits Of Sharing Your Stuff" from Tessa Clark. The concept of saving our planet could indeed lie in the idea of not only food sharing, but other things as well. (You can find this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.)

When Tessa Clark started in with the idea of food sharing, at first it struck me as an automatic "nope, not doing it." Get your food from someone you don't know versus from a grocery store?!? Feels blasphemous! Feels like there's a potential to be poisoned! (Which led to the immediate secondary thought of "Why am I so jaded and why did I automatically go there?") 

But, the more she spoke about it, it does make sense to share. For instance, if I have the lawn mower and my neighbor has the leaf blower, we both save money and we can just borrow from each other. Saves on space in my garage too. So, why can't that hold true when it comes to my refrigerator? Especially given the overwhelming problem of food waste in the United States, which amounts to 30-40% of our national food supply. Minimalists will agree: we have an over-shopping problem on top of a waste mentality!

Thinking about the option to share our "stuff" definitely is an interesting thought exercise. With the growing number of "share" apps that are out there, maybe Tessa Clark is on to something.

Take a listen for yourself and see what you think. I do agree that it is going to take thinking in a different way from our current way of thinking (and have been thinking for decades). Nothing will change unless something changes...and we do indeed need to come up with a way to bring about positive, lasting changes to help our planetary problems, environmental issues, and global climate concerns.

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