So What’s the Problem?
During an age of anxiety and the no-time-to-waste work ethic, it’s easy to become a stranger to the concept of climate change. However, we should, as active members of a changing society, try to acknowledge even the most untimely obstacles. It’s time to establish environmental mindfulness — an understanding of the world that we can incorporate into every element of our daily lives.
We must do this if we wish to create a better future — If not for us, then for our children.
Whether you believe in climate change or not, consumptive waste and decadence are likely so ingrained into our daily lives that we don’t even notice it.
Here are just a few examples:
- Bottled water: Ever seen someone buying plastic water bottles in bulk? Unless you live in a place like Flint, Michigan, there’s really no need for this - American tap water is regulated by the EPA and is 100% safe, in fact it’s what half of bottled water companies use. If it still bothers you, invest in a filter.
- Cars in cities: We get it, if you live in a big city it can be convenient to hop in your car to get to work in the morning, but it’s extremely inefficient for us as a society to use a machine capable of transporting five + people across hundreds of miles to get to the next neighborhood. Instead, think carpooling, bikes and public transportation.
- Wasteful Purchases: So many of our electronics, besides our cars, pollute our planet with an inconceivable pile of junk. This one is hard to change without broad political action because of the products available to consumers — tech companies purposely design electronics for wear and tear to bring in new generations of goods. The result is an abundance of plastic waste.
All of these problems and many more result from a startling lack of environmental literacy and sustainability awareness.
Studies have indicated that two-thirds of Americans fail even a basic quiz on the environment and that 88% failed an energy quiz.
Climate change and pollution are no laughing matters — we should consider our ignorance toward carbon emissions, climate change, and plastic refuse a disease. Our social mentality that accepts these matters is one of its many toxic symptoms.
But What Should We Do About It?At this point, the best hope for breaking this devastating cycle lies with the next generation of Americans.
This starts in schools and at home.
Children need to be taught about our interconnection to the ecosphere, and that the choices they make as individuals will define the society of the future.
These children are the political and civic leaders of tomorrow, but ensuring that they receive the education they need and deserve to reach this goal is our responsibility today. Make sure your children understand the deep impacts of their actions. Now more than ever, we need to prioritize and emphasize environmental mindfulness.