Yes, in some cases it can be… especially where they have some access to technology, but no means to purchase newer technologies which had gotten rid of the problems of old. In some cases, there are poor regions of the earth where people are unaware of the problems of climate change, and they are just trying to get by (refrigerating their goods with an older model unit, and not taking care to dispose of the environmentally dangerous components in the cooling section), and so they just harm the earth unawares, because they have much bigger concerns. In other areas of the world which are considered poor by our standards live some of the most environmentally friendly peoples of this world—people who live subsistence lifestyles, and do no damage to the earth whatsoever—THE LEAVERS: we should look to them for inspiration in our endeavors to lead environmentally responsible lives—we can definitely learn a thing or two about RE-DUCING, (using less to do more, or getting by without unnecessary amenities that harm the earth) and REUSING—like the Native Americans did. There is wealth besides glittering gold and plastic charge cards; we need to all realize this and make the necessary changes.
Many people in poor countries struggle to survive any way they can, so helping the environment becomes a smaller priority. To begin, many cities in developing countries do not have proper garbage management systems and virtually no recycling systems because the government doesn’t have the money (or deem it important enough) to offer garbage collection. Trash builds up and is often burned or simply left to pollute drains and streets. Usually in these cities water is not clean and must be purchased in plastic containers which then become trash- they are not recycled. When the time comes to purchase food and goods, usually the least expensive option is chosen, not the most sustainable or best for the environment. Typically these goods cost more, and a family struggling to eat will probably not opt for the more expensive option no matter what the reason. I have often thought that sustainability should be tied closer to social justice and equality; we need to help make it easier for EVERYONE to make sustainable choices and reduce their carbon footprint. To me, this is the real challenge, but if we make progress in the global arena I feel that real and lasting change would become possible- and a reality.
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