An open letter to the environmental community:
I fully believe that one person can make a difference and I fully believe that small steps are often necessary to effect change. I am not sure if it is human nature to always be competitive, to always try to outperform their neighbors, but in this modern society I see a competitiveness that is disturbing.
There is a prevalence of judgment and superiority revolving around both parenting and green living. No longer is it considered enough to try our best, to try something new, or to do anything on a smaller scale at first.
Businesses take steps to be more eco-friendly and are not lauded for their effort, but decried for not going far enough. Some of that may be deserved. There are numerous cases of greenwashing that should be called out.
Shouldn’t any real meaningful steps made by an entity, that in its nature has much more impact on the people and environment than any single individual, be encouraged?
Positive encouragement leads to more positive change.
How many people do you know that have indicated it is too difficult to go green in their personal lives? It is too expensive, too overwhelming, or too much of an imposition on their lifestyle. These are also the same people who want to leave this world a better place for our children and grandchildren, they are just not sure how best to do that-or are fearful of the judgment they might receive for trying something new, and perhaps failing.
These are the people who could make a significant difference on their impact just by making a few small changes, really even one small change. Shouldn’t this be encouraged on a large-scale?
Understanding the consequences to our decisions we make every day – on what to use, what to buy – reduces some of the impact we have on the lives of those around us, from neighbors to those half a world away, and is what drives many of us to make the changes we have made so far and strive to do even more.
The majority of people want the world to be better than it is. I have to believe that. The key is to start small and gently encourage others to do the same. Most people want gradual change, not drastic, and that can be incredibly significant. Understanding the consequences of not encouraging the baby steps is what is going to change the world.
I am not saying that we should reduce our expectations of what we are all capable of, but we have to start somewhere. If we need to start small, then it is a step in the right direction. What baby steps have you taken recently? What baby steps would you encourage others to try?