Today we talk with Carmen, better known as Ecoguilty on social media, to talk about her path towards a completely imperfect sustainable life, as she herself defines, to show the world that we don't need to make big sacrifices to care about our planet.
When we talk about the road to sustainability or veganism being imperfect, do you think it is because society is in a system that does not allow or limits this lifestyle?
The system certainly does not make it easy. There are people who have been living a 100% vegan life for years and, with the right motivation, they do it without much effort, but living a 100% sustainable life is impossible. All our actions have an impact on the world around us, we can try to minimize or compensate for them, but we will not be able to eliminate them.
"... we don't need to make great sacrifices to care about our planet."
What is the alternative? If this is the reality in which we live, what options are left to us when it comes to leading a conscious life?
For me the key is patience and flexibility, accepting that we are not going to be perfect. It's very easy to say it but then in practice we end up throwing a lot of things in our faces, we have to respect ourselves and others more.
How should the system be changed if it is the system that is failing?
I don't know if the problem is the capitalist system but, of course, a system based on infinite growth in a world of finite resources is doomed to collapse at some point. What is the alternative? I have no idea.
Who benefits from this system?
The system in which we live rewards consumption, on both sides, rewards companies that are consumed and rewards those who consume it with some recognition and a false sense of happiness. To be understood, Apple succeeds because it is consumed and who has the latest iPhone seems to be more than who has a Xiaomi. But this system leaves out the vast majority of people, people who don't even get into this game. We have to be careful not to be self-centered and think that the West and our way of living is representative of humanity, because it is not.
"...a system that is based on infinite growth in a world of finite resources is doomed to collapse at some point. What is the alternative? I have no idea."
In your social networks you often talk about the fact that there are brands that, while creating vegan and sustainable products, are still sub-brands of market powerhouses that are among the most polluting. How can consumers learn to buy consciously and from brands that understand sustainability in its entirety?
As a general rule, a large multinational is not going to be the most sustainable option, although sometimes it is the only option. Look for smaller, local companies that have sustainability as a fundamental pillar on which they are built, not as a marketing tool.
What government measures should be implemented to facilitate these lifestyles?
Making things easier for the small ones, for the self-employed, for the small entrepreneurs, so that it is not so difficult to set up and maintain a small company or business. Helping the small ones to continue to exist, not to grow excessively, could have a very positive impact.
We must be careful not to be self-centered and think that the West and our way of life is representative of humanity, because it is not.
If tomorrow you were given control of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, or the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what would you do first?
I would remove any type of subsidy to the livestock industry, especially those related to macro-farms, I would prohibit trawling and promote regenerative agriculture through aid, I would provide facilities to local farmers, we have a wonderful agriculture in this country that cannot compete in many cases with our southern neighbor, Morocco. To sum up, I would do everything possible so that the final consumer can find local products in the stores and realize that consuming animal products should be something more sporadic rather than a daily habit.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get started in a conscious lifestyle but doesn't know or is concerned that this path is imperfect?
He should inform himself, watch documentaries, follow disseminators on social networks, as he wishes, but he should inform himself, generate his own opinion on these issues.
Thank you very much Carmen.