COST OF FOOD” CAMPAIGN
United States, with less than five per cent of the world’s
people, consumes over twenty-five percent of its resources.
And that’s not even the bad news: the really scary news is
that the rest of the planet is scrambling to catch up with our
lifestyle. If all 6.4 billion people did so, we’d need four
more Earths to accommodate them.
In response, the Sierra Club Sustainable Consumption Committee
is has launched a new, national grassroots campaign. It’s
focused on the one major aspect of American consumption that’s
probably the easiest to change: our dietary lifestyle. American
food production has a huge impact on the environment and the
Club expends enormous resources fighting the symptoms of
unsustainable agriculture, from water pollution and toxins in
the food chain to loss of habitat and species.
What the Club has not previously done is to seriously challenge
the root cause of the above: American food consumption patterns.
By and large, our diet is so unsustainably produced that it
jeopardizes not just the environment but also our health. Our
diet completely ignores the true cost of food.
We’re responding with the “True Cost of Food” campaign to
make the Club a leader in sustainable eating: Our goal is an
America that eats:
The first prong of this campaign is building a nationwide
network of activists who will target local markets to provide
more food that is organically grown, locally produced, and
reasonably priced. These goals are practical and doable. There
already exists a pent-up public demand for organic. Rapidly
growing numbers of local farmers want to give up their
dependence on poisons. And the Sierra Club already has the ideal
structure and experience to galvanize this movement.
The second prong is educational. We’re producing brochures and
fact sheets for activists, and articles for local newsletters.
We’re completely redoing our website: www.sierraclub.org/sustainable_consumption.
This campaign has one special advantage: It shows
environmentally minded people how they can immediately start
making a big difference in their everyday lives. That’s
empowerment. And empowered people are already halfway to
The Club’s traditional work on forests, habitat, clean air,
and so forth must be strengthened. And few things will help more
than addressing one root cause of these problems, the wasteful
and excessive consumption in our society. That’s where the
Sustainable Consumption Committee comes in. Switching consumer
demand to low-impact food is our current focus area, but we will
also educate on sustainable wood production, energy use, water
consumption, and related issues. Furthermore, we plan to talk
about the Madison-Avenue-driven, buy-and-consume craze that has
virtually become our national religion.
We’d love to have you get involved at any level of activity
you’re comfortable with. Please contact the Club’s volunteer
coordinator, Gordon LaBedz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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