NEW PODCAST: Why Living on Less Is So Hard
Overconsumption: Why Living on Less Is So Hard
For 8 billion people to live in a way that is truly sustainable, everyone would have to take up residence in a one-room apartment with minimal electricity, no central air, heat or hot water, no washing machine, dryer or dishwasher, and have only a few sets of clothes and pairs of shoes. You’d also have to be a vegetarian who never drives or flies in an airplane. Sound utterly dystopian? “Maybe, but that is what it would take for all of us to live equitably,” says Terry Spahr, the founder of Earth Overshoot and filmmaker behind 8 Billion Angels.
In this eye-opening interview with Spahr, we discuss the challenges of reducing consumption and offer ideas for solving our ecological crisis. We touch on:
- What sustainability really means
- Which countries are sustainable
- How a sustainable lifestyle would look for 8 billion people
- Why it’s almost impossible to reduce your overall consumption even if you put in a lot of effort
- Why it’s complicated to shift the way entire governments and the global economy functions to reduce overconsumption
- How shortening the work week would help people and planet’s well-being
- Why promoting smaller families is the most powerful and systemic strategy
Terry Spahr is a filmmaker, environmental activist, and the Executive Director of Earth Overshoot, a nonprofit that raises awareness about unsustainable population growth and consumption. In 2019, he produced 8 Billion Angels, a documentary film that exposes overpopulation as the upstream cause of all our environmental problems.