Making this world a better place
We all want to buy new things and dispose the old ones because well, new is better which is probably why a large percentage of goods we buy are hardly being consumed after 6 months or so. The same idea of consumption and disposal has been given by Annie Leonard in her video, “The Story of Stuff”, where she talks about the lifecycle of a product from it’s extraction and with emphasis on its consumption and then disposal which ultimately has led to environmental pollution. I agree with how she has talked about the running out of natural resources in the process of extraction, and about planned and perceived obsolescence. But a few of her ideas of chemicals mixing with natural resources and eventually leading to side effects to our bodies had me confused. The similar idea of human impact on our environment is presented by, Arthus-Bertrand’s, in his Ted talk,” A wide angle view of fragile Earth”, where in his image filled talk lays stress on the human practices and living standards that have led to drastic environmental changes. We need to step up and lead a trend that encourages sustainability and a place where everyone is able to live a good life.
The idea of enabling others live a good life is emphasized on also by Jessica Jackley in her Ted talk, “Poverty, Money and Love”. She talks about how she had got inspired by this idea of helping the poor so that they can build up something for themselves, which enabled her to change lives of so many. The same message of love and giving is what reflects from her talk, where we need to show sensitivity towards others and give more to diminish poverty. Since, poverty was the wicked problem that I had thought of in my activity 2 and then pursued for my Activity 3. This talk along with my findings while performing the activity has helped me understand how our little steps and contributions can actually make a difference in people’s lives where we can empower them to do something for themselves and enable them to have better living standards.
But does poverty lead to environmental degradation? Well, a debate that has been agreed upon by some and negated by others. Those who agree blame the increased dependence of the poor on the natural resources for their day to day survival which is something that I would agree on but those who negate it, say it doesn’t necessarily have to be poverty that is a major cause of environmental degradation, rather the right policies for the poor, provision of facilities (irrigation systems, long term investments, feeder roads) , so that the poor people can benefit from these and their dependence on natural resources decreases.
Another debate on whether “Market does better than government at transitioning to sustainability”, has led to a difference in opinion where some agree to having carbon tariffs and other market level strategies in controlling carbon emissions where on the other hand, those who disagree say regulations on government level are needed which is probably what I would personally agree to, since laws made on higher levels would get implemented better and would be more beneficial since major buildings would be taken into consideration which happen to be amongst the bigger emitters of carbon. Also, awareness among individuals can be created more when there are renewed laws and policies regarding carbon emissions and would also present this as an important issue, making people realize that these steps need to be taken to save the environment.
One such way of taking positive step toward environment protection could be through social entrepreneurship as it provides a framework for businesses to find their own success in the pursuit of helping others. Thus, business should aim to generate profits and help society.
This is what I would look forward to doing, where along with earning money, I would also be able to give back to the society by helping the people or the environment. Also, making efforts to make sure that my business tackles with problems that could lead to the degradation of the environment. It’s easy to communicate to people the importance of environmental protection but being an entrepreneur would enable me to be a practical example of how one can do things in ways where society and its problems are also taken into consideration.
Today what makes me more responsible and educated regarding environment is this course that has enlightened me to the concept of sustainability, mindfulness. I never thought I would ever think about being socially responsible where the world around, it’s people and environment would hold a value to an extent where before making any action, all these factors would be taken into consideration. It helped me realize that though wicked problems do not have one definite solution, but efforts can be made to diminish them, and these efforts could be on any level. We just need to highlight, understand and then contemplate about them.