“This disparity between what we buy and own and what we actually need leads to enormous overconsumption that drains the Earth’s resources and accelerates climate change.” (https://www.globalcitizen.org)

 

Through our mass consumption, mindless greed and senseless, automatic over-consumption for ‘fitting-in’ and being a ‘relative’ piece on the chess board of the fast-passed trends that dominate. What do we want? What do we need? We crave prosperity, convenience and find comfort in the ownership of ‘things’ but have overlooked minimal necessity. This has a detrimental environmental effect.

We have gown in to a society where ignorance really is bliss. The bliss full magic that occurs when we buy, use, throw away and then poof! By magic we just assume its taken care of. It’s as is we shield ourselves from the worry and fuss from how and where things go when disposed of. We are all guilty of it, it’s as if its been bred in to us.

From a young age, probably watching too many episodes of ‘Come Outside’ (anyone else love that dog?! Ooh Auntie Mabel and Pipin), iv’e been interested in what happens to things, where they come from and then where they go. For those that don’t know the show, it was a 90’s children’s classic. A British education BBC programme that original ran in the early- mid nineties (before I was born!) but it re-ran on CBBC in the early 2000’s until 2012! The series aimed to encourage young children to learn about the world around them, featuring Auntie Mabel, her dog Pipin and her preferred mode of transport… a multi-coloured polka dot aeroplane (sounds bonkers!). They traveled across the country investigating familiar objects and habits, such as the humble chip to our everyday routine of food disposal. Uncovering the journey these things experienced through creation, mass-producuiton, industrialisation, consumption and disposal, you name it, they covered it. I even occasionally put an episode on or listen to the theme tune in my free time now.

When on holiday or exploring new places I’m constantly interested in whats to offer and how it differs from place to place, country to country. The materials, produce and industry that is available or native to an environment offers such diversity and naturally sourced wonder. Yes, that does usually mean a holiday highlight for me is going to the local grocers, markets and simply browsing the shelves of a local store selling traditional produce and goods. But I also wonder, where does it all go? and how sustainable is this? Especially in your not so environmentally friendly hyper-Us, convenience stores and supermarkets. (but they’re a necessity arn’t they…?

Recently I have been fascinated by sustainability and its massive contrast and positive change to our current, almost ashamedly championed, way of living, eating, consuming and travelling  lives. A main influence has been travel, fitness and lifestlye blogger, Vlogger and influencer @zannavandijk.

We’ve all heard in the news (or at least I hope we have) and to be honest over the past few decades, so really we haven’t any excuses…, about plastic. But is recycling enough? The boycott or even simple reduction of our plastic consumption can have a massive POSITIVE impact on the environment. The thing is, in helping our environment we help the human race. We help ourselves by helping the planet, because a happy planet means humans live. Full-stop.

How can contemporary art facilitate, impact, learn from, show or evolve to aid our environment and a more sustainable way of living?

 

April Jackson

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