Even though we know something is inherently wrong why do we continue to do these things? Finding a cohesive resolution for dealing with humans negative affects on the environment can leave many feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated to take action since the scope is vast. We’ve all seen videos of Arctic ice melting around a baby polar bear left to its demise. We know that this is a result of global warming and that all of those consequences are due to human’s disregard for the environment. Constantly showing people the penalties of their actions often times desensitizes their abilities to see past the issue which in turn will hamper their ability to even begin to deal with resolutions. We must modify the narrative by displaying opportunities for people to take responsibility with simple solutions they can adopt in their daily life. Teaching a dog a new trick through punishment of a whip will leave behind a battered spirit afraid to show affection. Take the same dog and apply a different method involving an incentive such as a treat and you’ll get the same results and an ally for life. Let’s use this in relation to how we speak to people about changing their ways on how they interact with environmental issues to encourage motivation not fear. The United States Environmental Protection Agency coined a motto “ reduce, reuse, and recycle”. This slogan has created a movement that promotes individuals gaining knowledge on how they can take action with simple solutions to help them, their community and the environment by saving money, energy and natural resources.
Here are a few simple choices you can make that lead to a better planet:
- Do Meatless Monday, you can save 2,400 gallons of water, which would save more water than you can by not showering for six months.
- Reusing clothing instead of trashing last season’s threads will not only save you money but you’d be happy to know your not supporting an industry that uses 16% of the world’s pesticides.
- Recycling food waste by using left over scraps to fertilize your garden not only cuts down on your trash bill but also can reduce your carbon footprint and give life to your plants.
There’s a ton of ways that one can alter their day in a positive way to contribute to healing humans stamp on Mother Nature. With the preceding examples I aspire to suggest an alternate to the punishment versus reward method to reframe our approach to how we solicit responses to environmental issues through narratives. Simple actions individuals make can lead to a snowball effect of others adopting the same habits, which can create a vessel for a socially conscious movement towards legislation and regulations supporting environmental healing. To elicit change one must sacrifice the comforts of their privileges. Your individual action directly affects industries that are notoriously costly to the environment. Consumer choices will drive the market in a different direction, which in turn makes companies change their products to ensure they’re meeting the demands of their consumers. Ask for what is right by putting your money where your mouth is and become a Mindful Consumer.