I don’t think anyone can have failed to notice the increased attention on the environment in recent weeks. Mostly started when Blue Planet 2 showed a whale mourning the loss of her baby to plastic poisoning, there’s been much conversation in the media around the amount of plastic we use, how much we don’t recycle and how much we just dump in the ocean.
Humans are pretty awful when you think about it. We’ve completely taken over the planet and the majority of people seem intent on destroying this wonderful earth, rather than doing something to protect it. Mother nature is the most beautiful thing and we as humans are intelligent beings. So why do we choose to be so horrible and destroy the very place in which we live?!
For most people, doing what is easy is what they choose rather than doing what is right. Really, it’s just pure laziness. We’ve become such a wasteful society, where for the most part it’s easier, and usually cheaper, to buy something new rather than re-use or fix something. We’re too lazy to separate out items from the rubbish that could be recycled from the items that do genuinely need to go in the bin. It’s too much effort to take a reusable coffee cup with us when going for coffee so we use the non recyclable ones instead, because it’s easier to just throw it away when we’ve finished.
Of course, it’s not just us as individuals that contribute to the problem. It’s the authorities, companies, governments and various other organisations of this world which also contribute. It’s the individuals within those organisations as well that seem to make decisions based on what is easy or cheap rather than on what is right. Like recycling for example – often the local authorities can’t recycle certain things and can’t invest in the technology that would allow them to. So it goes in landfill instead. What a waste. But as individuals though, in cases where the local authority can recycle certain things but can only do so if you take stuff to a recycling point yourself rather than have it collected, let’s be honest – the majority of us wouldn’t bother to take it there would we?
We’re all guilty of being lazy at times, me included. We’ve all chosen the easy path rather than doing what is right. And sometimes, it’s just not possible to see the consequences of that choice, or mostly we just tend to think that “just this once won’t make a difference”. But it does. You just don’t see the immediate consequences.
It’s all about education.
When I was in primary school (which is now about 25 years ago, oh my god!!) I went on a residential trip to a place called Ufton Court, in the beautiful little village of Ufton Nervet in Berkshire. It’s a big tudor style house and it’s owned by an educational trust who run various historical and environmental activities.
The trip that I went on was an environmental one. Back then the focus was all on reducing the amount of energy we consumed as a society. We spent a few days learning about the environment and the impact on the amount of energy we used and why it was important that we reduce the amount of energy we used in our homes. And we learnt about different ways we could do that.
I think for most of the kids on that trip, the more interesting parts of the whole thing were sleeping away from home for a few days and the crazy ghost stories we heard night after night – kids plus big haunted looking house plus sleepovers = ghost stories galore.
But for me, the thing I remember most is all the ideas I came away with for how we could reduce the energy we used at home. It became really important to me. Unfortunately mum and dad were nowhere near as engaged with it as I was, and trying to get them to change certain habits was impossible. So all my ideas and good intentions went out the window.
And whilst the focus on the environment isn’t just about energy consumption nowadays, I think the thing that is the same is peoples attitudes. As I’ve mentioned above, you don’t see an immediate consequence to doing, or not doing, something and so you do what is easy. When experts say “by 2050 x y z is going to happen if we don’t do something now”, I suspect most people subconsciously think that they’re not going to be here by then so why should they change what they do.
The truth is, that if each of use make small changes to things we do every day – take a reusable carrier bag or coffee cup out with you, spend an extra 30 seconds putting a cardboard food wrapper in the recycling rather than in the regular bin, it all adds up and will make a difference. Maybe not immediately and maybe you won’t see it, but you’ll feel better for it.
There’s still huge things that need to change in this world to make sure human beings don’t destroy it for the rest of the species living on the planet, but every little helps right?
Much love! x