I set myself the task, at the end of Enough Already! Part One, to give a ‘picture’ of what a sustainable lifestyle might look and feel like. I’m sure a good answer must be out there somewhere amidst the thousands and thousands of ‘green’ web-pages, but my searches failed to find it, or to find data that I felt I could use in a reasonably straightforward way.
I will keep an eye out, but in the meantime, here’s my rough and ready answer.
A sustainable lifestyle (compared to those of current rich nation lifestyles):
1. Probably wouldn’t have an income above U.S. $10-12,000 at today’s prices (I’m allowing for the depreciation of the U.S. $ in last couple of years).
2. Will not include flying, for most people.
3. Will not include private motor vehicle travel, for most people, most of the time.
4. Will have a diet that includes much less meat, probably less total calories, and that is based much more on locally grown organic food.
5. Will feature more emphasis on relationships and community, and less on consumption.
6. Will be big on the three Rs, especially the first (Reduce, reuse, recycle).
For all its flaws, particularly in the sphere of political freedoms, Cuba’s post-Soviet collapse experience is an encouraging example of some of the ways a society can adapt to needing to use much less oil. That story, and much more good stuff about adapting to Peak-Oil (just one of the sustainability challenges) can be found at The Community Solution. George Monbiot’s Heat, reviewed by David recently, is also a positive, constructive examination of ways to move to a more sutainable lifestyle (Monbiot is looking at what it means for the U.K.).