Editorial: Pick Your Battles
The concept of sustainability is corrupted.
Instead of the term being used to identify simple and accessible products or practices that could help the environment, the word “sustainability” is being slapped onto anything that can be used to make a quick buck. Products are marketed in a specific way to make you the sole bearer of the weight of fixing the environment.
There are definitely certain lifestyle changes you can make in order to help. For example, making a diet change that includes less meat or restructuring your commute so you spend less time in a car and more time on public transit does move the needle a little. That’s not to say that if you can’t you’re a bad person—but an effort is always better than nothing.
Picking your battles and changing your lifestyle gradually is the most effective way to make sure that your changes are attainable and financially viable.
They also help ensure that you don’t revert to your old habits after a few months.
What we’re trying to say is that you are not the person we need drastic action from. If you’re trying to change your lifestyle and make it more sustainable, then good on you—but you’re not the crux of the problem; individual action isn’t anywhere enough.
Multinational corporations have made it a business to suck this planet dry for a profit and have used every tactic in the book to deflect any adequate level of blame or consequence. Short term profit over creating a long-term solution has always been their business model and then, they have the audacity to encourage you to lead a greener life while they polluting as if it were business as usual.
This puts an emphasis on consumers, making them responsible for changing their entire lifestyle without seeing a change from what shaped society in the first place.
One hundred corporations have contributed to 71 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions between 1988 and 2015—something they were fully aware of—and we’re expected to uproot everything in our lives while these multinationals can continue with business as usual and lobby their way out of climate agreements?
The world is on fire. We’re killing every species on the planet—including ourselves—and we can promise you it isn’t solely due to the fact that we use a plastic water bottle once in a while.
The whole “we need your help to save the planet” narrative is a destructive idea that puts far too much responsibility on everyday consumers and lets multinationals keep their profit margins.
So keep working on yourself. Keep improving your habits and trying to live a more sustainable life but do it in a healthy way.
Make sure that your sustainable habits are ones you can maintain.
But most importantly, keep holding corporations who profit off the status quo accountable.