Sometimes I love New Zealand’s ‘she’ll be right’ attitude. Not stressing over the details is great for things like playing sports or planning a party. Those activities are meaningful at the time, but in the long run they won’t matter too much. But when it comes to the accelerating death of our planet, that attitude doesn’t cut it anymore. She won’t be right unless we do something.
Global warming is happening. Our environment is slowly degrading. Small, every-day solutions exist. But a lot of New Zealanders can’t be bothered. We’re trying but it’s just difficult to remember the reusable bags/the keep cup/to use public transport. That’s not good enough.
The amount of effort required is minimal. We’ve known about these solutions for years. Each day, we make a lot of small decisions that have an impact. Taking the option that helps rather than hurts the planet might take a little bit more effort, but it’s worth it.
Making the environmentally friendly choice can be expensive or time-consuming, and it might not a workable option for those on low incomes. That makes it all the more important for those of us who do have the means to protect the environment to do everything within our ability.
You can argue that it should be made easier for us. And it’s true that consumers are not really the people who should bear the blame for the situation we’re in right now. Large-scale commercial operations should change their practices, and probably won’t until their actions are regulated. But we can’t wait for that. Individuals need to focus on the things we can do immediately to help the environment and minimise harm.
There’s not going to be a catastrophic incident that forces people into a new lifestyle. Things will just slowly get worse and worse, until these small, easy changes aren’t enough to save us. It’s a gloomy outlook, right? We shouldn’t need a wake-up call to realise that doing what you can to help the environment is common sense and should be common practice.
If this seems like a rant designed to make people concerned about the state of the environment, it is. There are too many New Zealanders with the means to minimise their waste and reduce emissions who don’t, because they simply don’t care enough to make an effort.
Not caring about the environment is ridiculous. The state of the environment is going to affect all of us within our lifetimes, and all of our children, and all of their children. It’s the future, it’s preventable, and not caring is a ridiculous excuse. How much more evidence do we need? It’s proven. Full stop, end of story. Global warming exists and though we can’t reverse it, we can slow it down.
We can do simple things that make a difference. Take public transport rather than driving. Use reusable bags and keep cups. Support businesses with sustainable practices. Recycle as much as possible (if you’re not already recycling, why?). These actions don’t seem like much on their own, but a lot of people making an extra effort will help.
The world is getting warmer and more polluted, and it’s no longer okay that you forgot the reusable bags for the supermarket. Feel guilty, feel the weight of our planet’s future upon your shoulders, and then do something about it.