Deforestation, climate change, extinctions, overfishing, corporate pollutions…
Who wouldn’t want to witness a major reversal of some of our current catastrophic global eco-trends? But, as the legendary journalist I.F. Stone once said: “If you expect an answer to your question during your lifetime, you’re not asking a big enough question.” In other words, making daily—even hourly—green choices isn’t automatically about being present when the current corporate-dominated paradigm shifts (or, better yet, is shifted). Rather, it’s about doing the right thing…here and now.
Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.
Mookie: That’s it?
Da Mayor: That’s it.
Mookie: I got it, I’m gone.
(from Do the Right Thing)
When you choose to buy a used shirt instead of opting for a brand new article of clothing being sold by a store that supports sweatshop labor, it’s not like you expect that specific purchase to end workplace inequality and put a halt to conspicuous consumption. You buy the used shirt simply because it’s the right thing to do. This mentality counters those who say stuff like: “Why should I use public transportation instead of drive? All those other motorists are still using their cars anyway.” Sure…they are. But you’re not. You, dear comrade, are doing the right thing.
It all comes down to keeping an eye on the big picture while still focusing on the tiny choices that must be made many times a day…all with the same ultimate goal: a dismantling of the societal system that’s relentlessly assaulting our planet and everything that lives on it.
Any granola worth his or her patchouli wants global warming reversed, animal extinctions halted, and all noxious chemicals outlawed yesterday…but that’s not the only reason why we make the sometimes unpopular eco-choices day-in and day-out. It’s also because we believe in doing the right thing for our eco-system—regardless of what the long term impact may or may not be.
All we have is right now. How are you making it count?
Suggestion: Ask not what your eco-system can do for you. Ask what you can do for your eco-system.