I was recently reading this NYTimes.com article about the role of men in feminism. It’s a great article and worth a quick read, if you have a moment. One of the lines that resonated with me was this: “Not all men are a part of the problem, but yes, all men must be part of the solution.

So true! If you’re not actively striving for equity in an inequitable world, then really, it’s even more than that. As my mother always told me:

“If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.”

That is just as true when it comes to sustainability, and our culture’s tendency toward environmentally destructive behavior. In fact, most Americans are used to a lifestyle that is actively a part of the problem.

Have you separated yourself from that crowd?

Have you at least reduced your role in the problem?

In our culture, it is extremely difficult for any one person to get to a point where they are not in some way actively contributing to pollution and waste generation. I know that I still have a way to go in terms of improving my own personal impact!

It’s part of our everyday lives.

If you’re reading this article, you’re using the internet and some sort of computer or smartphone. Running all of the devices that make the internet work is a very energy intensive. And even though I run this site on 100% renewable energy, and even if you’re reading it on a smartphone that you charge with a solar panel… It took energy to manufacture all of those devices. And the manufacturing process for electronics is not pretty! It generally results in highly toxic byproducts.

There’s nothing you can do, directly, about much of the energy usage and pollution involved in using the internet. Sure, you could simply use it less, or even not at all… But as I’ve mentioned before, sustainability doesn’t have to be a luddite movement. We don’t need to go back to 1900. We shouldn’t go back to 1900. We should move proudly forward, making the effort to actively improve our technology, not throw it away.

You can’t make it instantly better.

The problem is too complicated for quick-fix solutions. The is good news, though! There are a lot of easy, little things that you can do to start improving your effect on the environment. And, the more people who do it, the easier it gets for us all to do even better! Market pressures created by responsible consumers and creators are powerful, powerful forces. It doesn’t have to be at odds with progress, either. The computing industry is getting smaller and more energy efficient day by day, because that’s what’s required if we want to carry supercomputers around in our pockets, with batteries that last long enough to watch an entire season of Scrubs on Netfilx.

We’re getting there, but not fast enough.

And there are still areas where we’re getting worse, instead of better.

If we’re going to make a change in the world, we have to start with ourselves.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today with a free preview section of the success and sustainability program! Begin with yourself. Take charge of your life and improve your overall feeling of satisfaction. That way you’ll have the resources and resiliency that you are going to need if you want to make a real difference.

And stay tuned for the upcoming post about the “eff” words. Understanding what they are and how to evaluate them is a critical first step in taking action!




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