Humans have the great power of intelligence, and as Uncle Ben says to Peter Parker, "with great power, comes great responsibility."
You cannot ignore it, we humans are doing something to affect environmental change on our planet. And whether you believe it is part of the evolutionary process or not, you can see the instantaneous negative effects we have on our immediate environment due to wasteful habits. Even if we are meant to change the world somehow, don't we have the intelligence and responsibility to preserve the good things about the earth as we evolve, and shouldn't we?
Humans do not create balance on this earth the way most species that exist do. We are an invasive species and do not live in harmony with other species. We generally live however we want to, without much thought to the effect we have.
Landfills are the first thing to come to mind. There is nothing beneficial for this earth that comes out of the existence of landfills. The scavengers that glean some food from landfills could easily exist without landfills, and yet we continue to take up more and more of the earth with our trash. Landfills do not ever reach a homeostasis, either, where the point of decay can keep up with the amount of garbage that is dumped there. The only thing we can do to help reduce landfills is to become more responsible consumers by reusing articles we can, reducing our waste (via less consumerism, more composting, etc.), and recycling what we cannot reuse or reduce.
While you, as an individual, cannot handle the global problem of carbon emissions and environmental destruction on your own, you can tackle your particular contribution to the global problem. Do not complacently sit by and wait until other people start to live more responsibly; you must take the initiative and do it yourself now. Create awareness in your community, and your actions might get noticed and catch on.
As inspiringly reported on NPR, a nonprofit Dutch organization has taken it upon themselves to institute a climate change lawsuit. They are seeking to have their country drastically cut carbon emissions. The organization recognizes that though individual action is not enough to change much, and though the Netherlands itself is a small country, if a whole country takes action, other countries that have a larger global impact may follow suit and cause a world-wide domino effect for the benefit of the environment.
Check out the NPR segment here.
Instead of contributing waste, start contributing your resoursefulness, and leave this world in a better state!
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