By far, the most important thing to do is to get people to stop buying things that they don’t absolutely need.
– I have a friend who brags about how low her environmental footprint is. She dares other people to match her. The thing is? Her family travels constantly. Skiing, flying to visit family, international vacations. Counting the ecological damage caused by the plane flights, she’s about 20 times worse than me! She just thinks she’s going good.
– I had a boss who had owned over 20 cell phones. He just loved them! He’d buy a new one every few months. That means he was basically throwing away $1,000s of technology. (I’ve used my cell phone for more than 5 years.)
– Women and shoes. It’s “comfort food” shopping. Buy a really nice pair of shoes and feel good about yourself. Thing is, those shoes cost a fortune, but then sit in a closet unused 99.9% of the time. All that time, money and effort — and the accompanying ecological damage — are essentially wasted. Even I do it! I have “hiking boots” that I haven’t worn twice in the last 5 years. Did I need them at all? Actually, no. Regular shoes are fine.
– And speaking of comfort food, I know of people who expect to see meat at every meal: Bacon for breakfast, salami sandwich for lunch, and a big thick juicy steak for dinner. Meat tastes wonderful, but it’s expensive, and it’s very hard on the environment, compared to vegetables and grains. And there are plenty of dishes from Asia, for example, that use meat very sparingly.
These changes are some of the most important that can be made. Instead, people concentrate on things such as recycling coffee grounds, using renewable shopping bags, and buying fuel efficient cars.
None of that stuff makes much difference compared to CHANGING THEIR LIFESTYLE. You can save an incredible amount of gas: By not driving so often.
It’s very hard to get people to change their lifestyle, but that’s what MUST happen. All these other little politically correct gestures don’t make much difference to the global environmental catastrophes that are only a few years away.
I agree with the above statement, and I believe that people just don’t seem to care too much about it. I still believe in the theory that people don’t care about a problem until it affects them directly. You could talk about how a water source is being poisoned, but some people won’t actively do something about it until their very own sink it shooting out toxic waste. If you try and convince people of dangers of overflowing landfills, they’ll do something about it if they walk outside to find a heap of smelly trash in their back yard. I think the best way to get people to be more active in conservation and cleanliness is to make it “hit close to home,” so to speak. Campaign about local problems that illustrate a major one, perhaps. People will do something about it once they realize that it really does affect them personally. Now, this isn’t an invitation to go trash someones yard, but knowledge is power in this instance.
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