Waste – it’s the scourge of our time, a byword for pollution, depleted energy sources and the smog that fills our cities. Yet, no matter how much we know about the environment, the population as a whole refuses to cut back on waste.
According to climate expert and political activist Naomi Klein, this is largely the fault of capitalism. As decadent spending dominates the westernised notion of success, the likelihood of the environment making a full recovery is slim-to-none.
The impact of our ceaseless consumerism can be seen everywhere. As Black Friday dominates news headlines, the polar ice caps melt. As supermarket waste reaches new heights, developing countries suffer food shortages. While Volkswagen is exposed regarding fraudulent readings of CO2 emissions, smog continues to suffocate cities.
And, despite a few sops from politicians, very little is being done to roll back the damage we’ve inflicted on the planet.
Making the effort
In her book The Shock Doctrine, Klein argues that society’s only option is to dismantle capitalism and deliberately stultify corporate ambition. As the free market continues unrestrained, according to Klein, the eco-system will continue in its undignified decline. The end result? A planet destroyed.
Yet this calumny isn’t set in stone. In conversation with writer George Monbiot, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke admitted his efforts to create eco-friendly gigs felt like “pissing in the wind”, but the effort was important. Major movements by independent citizens are a statement to the government – help the environment.
Because it’s largely government institutions that struggle with waste. Hospitals are, understandably, teeming with unnecessary waste. While some healthcare waste professionals do their best to contain this toxic rubbish, others lack such discernment.
Governments against the people
In Britain, the Conservative government have approved fracking in various countryside areas, despite opposition from environmental campaigners. Nuclear power plants are set to be built, despite their inherent dangers. Natural power sources like windfarms have had their funding slashed. And, despite knowing all this, you probably still don’t conserve power.
Although, as Yorke stated, your efforts might feel like “pissing in the wind”, the need for every person to conserve energy, cut down on waste and end unfettered levels of consumption is vital.
Every little helps
So what can you do? It’s unlikely you’ll want to dismantle the capitalist system from within (you’re probably a bit too busy for that), but cutting back on your levels of consumption is a good start.
Control your weekly shop and reuse shopping bags. Use energy efficient products with minimal packaging. Source your foods from ethical farmers and stop using your car.
If these suggestions seem minimal, that’s because they are. But whetting your appetite for eco-friendliness will set the ball rolling for larger projects. Waste no time in cutting down waste and you’ll feel like you’re making a real, valid difference.
Article Submitted By Community Writer