I want to minimize my ecological footprint or my demand towards nature going against anthropocentrism because really, it’s not all about us, human beings.
In the office, I make an effort to use both sides of paper. I encourage my colleagues to segregate garbage (which seems so difficult to follow) and urge them to avoid single-use plastic.
When eating out, I tell my friends not to use plastic straws or challenge them to eat more veggies.
I constantly talk about the little things we can do to contribute to caring for the environment.
Some people do try to support environmentalism but others, I’m afraid, just find me overbearing whenever I start talking green. And sadly, a lot of people just don’t care – they have other stuff to worry about and environmental issues are the least of their concern.
There’s also the question whether individual action can actually cause real impact. Taken collectively, it can influence corporations. But these corporations can take advantage of it weaving corporate action as sustainable when it’s far from the truth. Case in point, Starbucks replacing plastic straws with sippy cups made from more plastic. Starbucks claims the plastic lid is recyclable unlike plastic straws but do they really get recycled?
Another downside of these individual environmental actions is that it can make people feel that they don’t need to do anything else as they already did their part. Annie Leonard, in an article, said that civic engagement is the real source of power to make a difference.
The key then is consistency as well as continuous involvement in environmental initiatives. We do this not really to save the earth because it is us who need saving. We are actually saving ourselves and the human race.