With the presidential election now in our rearview mirror, the idea of sustainability and environmental protection has been thrust again into the spotlight in many Americans’ eyes, and for good reason. Protection of the Earth–our only Earth (at least until Elon Musk and SpaceX made the expedition to Mars)–will help to set the stage for the way our children, our children’s children, and future generations live.
Sometimes it seems like there is only so much that you can do to help. I’ve written in the past the changes that you can make in your personal and business lives to cut your carbon footprint. While those are a great start in the process of enacting positive change globally, there are steps that must come first before you can change the world. Here are a few ideas.
The most powerful way to combat climate change is to understand it. By educating yourself on the ins and outs of sustainability, you’re arming yourself for the fight for a greener future. As Sir Francis Bacon, Thomas Jefferson and millions of others have so famously said, knowledge is power. If you’re making an attempt at making a real difference in the sustainability practices going on around you, intelligence on the matter is non-negotiable.
Onto step two in this multi-step, multi-path sustainable project–spreading what you’ve learned. Once you’ve gained a foundational understanding of sustainability, how it affects the planet, and how we can go about making a difference in our day-to-day lives (check BarryFischetto.com for some ideas), it’s your civic duty to help spread the word. The more people who are concerned with the direction that we’re heading in as a nation and how we can pivot and stride towards sustainability, the more legs we have on the ground to help make these changes reality.
Pressure Organizations to Prioritize Sustainability
Large organizations seeking to make equally large, company-wide changes to procedure or practice have miles upon miles of bureaucratic red tape to consider before they are able to turn idea into action. While it’s great to make strides to pursue more sustainable business practices, putting them into action is considerably more difficult and often costs a good chunk of money.
So how can you, as a consumer, effect positive change? Make sure companies know that you (and millions of others) are putting a focus on sustainability. In 2015, Campbell’s took action, vowing to provide more organic and GMO-free foods due to pressure from the public.
Prioritize Sustainability in Consumerism
This piece of the puzzle is very much already in action according to numerous public surveys.
Nielsen has found that, in recent years, consumers are becoming more and more willing to pay extra money for products or services that are sustainably-sourced. This goes hand-in-hand with the point above–if companies recognize that consumers are putting their money where their mouths are, the pressure to make sustainable changes becomes even more difficult to ignore.
Utilize Alternative Energy
Alternative energy sources are becoming more and more common in America, from our electric vehicles to wind turbines and solar panels, we are largely moving more towards use of renewable, green energy. While solar panels are not quite at the efficiency level that make them useful to the average consumer, it’s important to embrace all instances of alternative energy that we can as both consumers and businesses with the realization that fossil fuels are both damaging and finite.
And no, we’re not going to run out of wind or suck up all the sun’s energy, leading to the inevitable death of the universe. If we follow sustainable trends, embrace alternative energy and drive businesses to action through knowledge and consumer demand, we can truly create a healthier, safer Earth.