What is included in environmental consciousness?



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    People who are environmentally conscious, live thier lives mindful of thie impact on the environment, improvement of the environment and conservation.  Environmental consciousness is also a very broad philosophy and social movement.

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    The most important part of being environmentally conscious is being aware of the impact each person has on the earth and the ways in which we can improve the environment. Being aware of the ways we interact with our environment is the first step to being environmentally conscious. Conserving precious resources and finding creative ways to recycle and reuse are great ways to be live a green, environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

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    Environmental consciousness is a term that is used in a variety of settings to mean various things.  Consciousness is defined by Merriam-Webster as both an awareness of self and an awareness of the external.  When applied to the environment, this usually means that we have an awareness of the existence of the environment and of our place within the environment.  From this is often extrapolated that this awareness will affect our decisions about how to operate within the environment. 

    The environmental movement within the U.S. is considered by some to have begun with the publishing of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962.  Her book brought national attention to the ways that our actions, especially the production of large amounts of chemicals used in industrial processes, were affecting the environment around us. 

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    A philosophy of environmental consciousness could be very similar to an ecosophy.  Arne Naess, a Norwegian mountaineer and philosopher responsible for building the emerging concept of “deep ecology” in the 1980’s, describes ecosophy as “a philosophy of ecological harmony or equilibrium.”  Its purpose is to foster a positive relationship between self and place, community, and natural world.  It is a philosophy that supports a holistic system quite different from the fragmented and reductionist world in which the industrialized world lives.

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    I empathize with the idea of, “deep ecology” brought up by “mercurycommunications”.  Becoming environmentally conscious entails a process of immersion in the natural world.  This immersion should become integral to one’s life.  Such that, food, medicine, and emotional healing are all, in some sense, derived from nature.  Not nature in the abstract sense, but the natural world in the area in which you live.  This often leads to a deeper understanding of time and seasonal cycles.  Eventually, this interface with earth rhythms leads to an emotional realization of the facade of modern society.

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