The greatest threat to our Planet is apathy

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The greatest threat to our Planet is the belief that someone else will save it. ~ Robert Swan

It's not really about saving the Planet, it is about saving ourselves for without a healthy Planet we are dead long before the Planet is. The Planet can do very well without us but we cannot do without the Planet. That is what people have to understand and I think if we would present it as fighting for our own survival then people might take it all a lot more serious.

The Earth does not need us but we need the Earth for our very survival. In fact the Planet, our Earth, would do, probably, much better without us that with us. That is that we all have to remember and maybe then we all wake up to the fact that we need to do something. But it is not saving the Planet but saving ourselves while at the same time regenerating the Planet and making it healthy again. Our very survival as individuals and as a species depends on us changing our ways, and we have to do that yesterday ideally. As that is not possible, however, because retrospective change does not work, we will have to do it now. Now, not tomorrow or the day after or next week, next year or such.

We cannot wait for governments and NGOs and all such bodies to do, or not do, something. The something that is to be done has to be done by each and every one of us, especially by changing the way we live, and do things. It is our personal survival and that of our children and their children, and that of our species that depends on our actions now. It is up to us to do something and every individual action counts here.

Oh, you ask, but what can I, on my own, do? Well, a great deal, especially if everyone, or at least almost everyone, does those things. Let's start with wasting less and buying less. Especially buying less unnecessary stuff. Reuse rather than buy new. Make things instead of buying them. Grow some of your own food. Drive less and rather walk or cycle; is also better for your health.

Every time that you are going to purchase something – other than essential foods and such – ask yourself honestly “Do I really need this or is it just something that I want (because others have it)?”. If your answer is a no then do not get it. On the other hand, if you may need it in the future and you know that you do, and the deal is right, then, but only then, do go ahead.

But too many of us do buy things that they do not need but think they do need simply because they confuse wants with needs, whether current needs or future needs. If your whatever still works and does what it is meant to do then there is no good reason to buy the latest version of it simply because it has more bells and whistles that you will never use. You, more than likely, haven't used half the bells and whistles on the current one. And so it goes on and on.

We need to get our priorities right and change our ways, and that especially in the consumption department, and no, buying “green” or recyclable does not cut it either here. Replacing “ordinary” consumption with “greensumption” is not making changes, and many of the supposedly “green” products are not as green and environmentally-friendly as claimed either. The greenest product is the one that you already have and that you keep using. The next greenest one is a second-hand one.

On another level there is reuse, repurpose, upcycling and make it yourself, and the green credentials here depend on whether you are using virgin materials or whether you are using old materials or even waste, or what would be regarded by most as waste. The latter, obviously, scores higher than the former, but all score higher than buying made elsewhere, for example.

I never know whether to laugh, cry, or scream when I see people throwing a glass jar into the recycling bin and then are talking about purchasing some recycled glass storage jars. Somewhere along the line many have lost the plot and definitely all too many also do not have the mindset that our grandparents and their parents had. Yes, for them it was often a matter of necessity to make use of everything and not to waste things that could be made use of, if not immediately then at some later date.

While for our ancestors this behavior often was dictated by lack of money to buy things for us it is a matter of survival on this Planet. As a world we are living beyond our planetary means in that we use up far too many resources, often non-renewable ones. Thus we have to reduce our impact on that level – and other levels, such as the pollution we create – by changing our ways. It is, as I have said but will do so again, our survival and that of our species that depends on those changes that we make.

Every single one of us has it in his or her power to make positive changes which, together, as a whole, however small those little things may be that we, as individuals can make, create a large sum. So, lets do it for it is not simply the survival of the Planet that is at stake but our survival.

© 2016