Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

14 Apr 2020

What we say and what we do

Posted by Michael Keating

I’ve long believed the greatest threat to the environment comes from the way we live: what we buy and what we do. Consumption of things and services – cars, food, houses, travel, etc. – and the use of energy from fossil fuels are the primary driving forces of change. They shape the industries that clear cut, over fish and pollute to provide what we demand. Our behaviour is the  root cause of the issues we see, such as climate change, deforestation, urban air pollution the decline of other species and the other environmental ills that plague our world. An article by Joel Makower in GreenBiz before the annual Earth Day, next Wednesday, looks at polls and consumer attitudes towards purchases and recycling. It’s an American perspective, but as the article shows the attitudes are shared in a number of industrialized countries. It’s not very optimistic. Makower says that for decades consumers say they are concerned about the environment and want to make environmentally and socially responsible choices but they keep buying the same things. They claim to recycle but the recycling figures do not bear this out. He does end on a hopeful note, saying that younger consumers appear to be readier to shop green than older people, and COVID-19 may bring about more concern about global stresses and the need to protect the environment.

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