Learning How to Not be Selfish (Or Sustainability)


FK7YQ5OH6730WBF.MEDIUMThere are an overwhelming amount of eloquent, persuasive Ted Talks about environmentalism, and Garth Lenz’s “The True Cost of Oil” is included in this. There are such an overwhelming amount of these talks and documentaries readily available online that it is surprising how many individuals, myself included, go about their daily life, releasing fossil fuels, ignoring politics and just generally not giving a shit about the environment. We’re all guilty of it, even if we see an ‘awe inspiring’ piece of environmental journalism that ‘ changes the way we see the world’ we’re more than likely inclined to forget about it within a week of our ‘mind shattering realizations’. It’s one thing to be heartbroken over listening to Garth Lenz discuss the potential decimation of Canada’s essential boreal forests, it is another thing entirely to take action. And to be honest things like this overwhelm me entirely: the issues are so large and impactful, the politicians are so rich and influential that it seems like individual action that isn’t self righteous is useless and futile.

So how can we turn this link sharing faux-activism into actions which actually make a difference? Yes taking shorter showers and biking instead of driving are extremely helpful, but in order for our generation to successfully turn the tables of regressive anti-climate policies, our entire global state of mind must be reevaluated. It has to do with an almost cringe-worthy cliched phrase of… thinking sustainably! Yes this phrase exists outside of corporate pamphlets and yes it has more meaning than your AP Environmental teacher probably droned on about. It has to do with decision making on a day to day basis. Blogger Raam Dev does a great job with exploring this decision making process aka test of sustainable consciousness in one of his posts about buying shoes. Buying shoes… how banal right? But it’s these small decisions (in Raam’s case whether to buy factory made running shoes, or sandals constructed out of recycled materials) that slowly but surely impact our decision making process as a whole.