Adopt a Conservation Mindset
The simplest, and perhaps most important step is changing our previous mindset of consumption and waste to a mindset of conservation.
The United States represents 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes about a quarter of the planet’s resources. US culture has evolved to which people will do most anything to acquire the means to consume—working slavish hours, racking up thousands of dollars in credit card debt, and buying well beyond their means. Not only is this something that has been conditioned in us, it has become a normal part of our everyday lives.
Much of this is a result of our “throw away” lifestyle, whereby many products are used once and then thrown away forever. This started in the 1950s when the plastics and chemical industries sold the US public on the convenience of single-use disposable items.
It is time to rethink our consumption habits and rediscover thoughtfulness and intentionality in not only our purchases, but also our energy and resource usage. Our seemingly small actions, done collectively, have long-term implications and contribute to the worldwide problems we face. It is important for each person to make a conscious effort to think of the environmental impact of their daily actions.
New habits will start to become second nature and over time, these small actions will add up to make a measurable difference. Some habits include buying secondhand clothing, saving water by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, saving electricity by turning off the lights when you leave a room, or choosing to carry items out of the grocery store instead of using a disposable plastic bag.
The goal is to get into the habit of consciously thinking and being aware of the impact of our daily actions.
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