Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
"The environmental crisis" is one of those phrases that we hear, but don’t necessarily understand the weight that it holds. The “out of sight, out of my mind” saying holds true for this ongoing ecological dilemma: If we can’t see all the damage being done on a daily basis, or if things aren’t collapsing altogether, then it won’t catch the attention of the major population—and that’s the problem.Are we truly mindful about the individual impact our daily actions have on the planet? It takes a conscious effort to habitually be aware about that it will take much more effort than recycling every once in a while to save our homeland before irreversible transformations take place.
We may think our efforts won’t help in the face of all the damage that’s already taken place, or in the face of all the carbon being emitted by industrial facilities on the daily, but that’s not true. Our collective efforts can and will turn around all the harm that’s taken place. One person’s efforts make all the difference in the fight to rescue our beautiful and irreplaceable world and its living creations.
If we want to make collective efforts strong enough to reverse existing damage—and damage taking place presently as you read this—then it’s time to shift our concentration to the reality of which methods will create a big enough impact to save our planet. We all know about recycling. We all hear about it, and we see recycling bins all over! But is it really doing enough to positively impact the environment? The short answer is no. If we really want to preserve our planet, then it’s crucial to shift our attention to not only recycling, but also reducing.
A massive amount of the planet’s resources and energy is spent on process and transportation of recycled goods. Unfortunately, there isn’t a huge market for them, but that’s changing! Woo! More and more we’re seeing a shift in purchasing behavior for recycled goods, and that’s amazing. But there is something more we can do! This is where reducing comes in.
Here are a couple of quick stats:
1. The environmental footprint of one T-shirt or pair of jeans is one that can’t be ignored. On average, one T-shirt will use up 700 gallons of water in production, and a pair of jeans will use 1,500 gallons, while also expelling about 70 pounds of carbon dioxide—that’s equivalent to driving 80 miles! You might as well drive to work every day shirtless and be doing the same amount of harm (don’t actually drive to work shirtless, though).
2. On average, an American citizen uses six napkins a day, which is around 2,200 napkins per year. If everyone in the U.S. used one fewer napkin a day, more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year. Can you imagine how much of an impact the use of reusable napkins would have, if simply using one less paper napkin could save a billion pounds of waste? It takes approximately 35,500,000 gallons of water to make the amount of paper napkins used in America for just one day—that’s the daily water use for 315,000 to 393,750 people.
All of this further drives the point of reducing being a main component in diminishing the harmful ecological footprint we leave on the planet daily. There are so many ways that we all can reduce—we would suggest doing some quick Googling! The simplest decisions will continue to be the most ecologically significant ones, with saving the planet being more of a conscious and everyday effort, rather than a passive and occasional one. Our duty as living beings on this planet—a planet which has sustained us and our ancestors for many generations—is to keep it happy and healthy. It’s more crucial than ever that everyone is aware and actively takes all measures to rescue our home from here on out for the future of humanity and all living things alike.