"The Environment" or "Our Environment"

I'll split my comment into the three areas that this week is covering. Individual actions, larger things I'd like to see done, and what the government could do better.

Personally I've been looking at my lifestyle, educating myself in regard to my environmental impact and trying to make better choices and decisions with the goal of reducing how heavy my demands are on the planet's resources and coping abilities. I'm cycling more, I'm more careful about taking vehicle journeys. I'm trying to eat a more plant based diet and have cut out junk food and snacks that have hard to recycle packaging. I avoid palm oils and my coffee treat is all fair trade. I've cut out teabags and gone loose leaf. I hate food waste and try to organise my food purchasing to avoid this and make sure I try to finish up everything in the fridge. I'm not interested in fashion or consumerism and try to buy second hand rather than new.  I like to see my clothes, phone or whatever last as long as it can. Like alot of people I'm on a lower income and have a small disposal income available. So all these things make financial as well as environmental sense. But mainly I'm trying hard to understand how I affect a finite closed system biosphere. What my responsibilities are and that I, like everyone else on the planet is deeply invested in the health and wellbeing of the planet systems. It's not "the environment" as if it was an abstract or objective entity, but a connected and subjective "our environment". 

The larger things that I'd like to see done could probably be boiled down to the simple philosophy that this individual attitude of "our environment" is reflected across the board. There are some businesses, organisations (and governments) that now understand that sustainability isn't just about how to ensure a steady income, good profits and shareholder dividends but sustainability also means working within our finite planetary systems. (There are of course many, many who don't know or care and are only interested in Q1 profits). And we're all bound in to the socioeconomic structures that are creating such deep environmental impact. It's incredibly disheartening when trying to make the right environmental decisions on an individual basis and then have to go to work in a carbon heavy and biodiversity stripping socioeconomic structure.

Thirdly, the role of good government is to provide the pathway to succeed. This can be done with all departments being on board, not fighting amongst themselves. It comes from proposing and passing good quality legislation, legally binding goals with strong timeframes. It comes from bipartisanship on difficult long term issues such as our environment. This would help to generate strong policies and action that extends past a political term and would help avoid kicking the environmental can down the road for the next round of politicians to deal with. We need good regulations across all aspects of business that direct to environmental responsibility and ownership of environmental impacts (just as I am trying to reduce my environmental impact). And most importantly good government needs to look to the future and try to understand that action now is an investment in the future. Project forward ... Where are we going to be in 5, 10, 20 and 50 years time. What can governments do now to help future proof and play a role in resolving this most pressing issue of sustainability. 

Why the contribution is important

We're all in this together aren't we.

by brucecarnegie on March 25, 2021 at 06:48PM

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