I Refuse to do ‘My Part’ for the Environment

For days I have been reflecting on the post written at Sustainable Holdfastbay.

It was the first time I had heard of the CSIRO’s annual survey on Australian’s attitudes to climate change.

It didn’t surprise me that the survey revealed 4 out of 5 Australians believed in climate change and that it was likely caused my human activity.

However, the finding that did struck me as profound, was that ‘most people tend to overestimate the amount of actions they’re taking to respond to climate change’.

We have all heard and perhaps even said “I’m doing my bit for the environment” or “I’m better than most”.

It is this ‘better than average’ comparison to others, regarding the environment that fascinates me.  For the record, this post has not been written from a position of guilt or judgment – I’m just wanting to inspire conversation and reflection.  

If however my finger is pointed, I am fully aware that in doing so, three of my fingers are directed back towards myself. And that is my point – taking personal responsibility for the impact our choices and behaviour is having on the environment.

Being ‘better than your neighbour’ is nothing to be proud of, nor an excuse to hault personal improvement.

I don’t want to just do my part for the environment – settling on being mediocre. I don’t want to be good but great!  Great at owning my environmental responsibility and great at continually lessening my environmental impact and great at inspiring others to do the same.

May I find myself at the beginning of 2016, more environmentally aware than what I am currently.   After all, self comparison is the only true indication of improvement and greatness.

Interested in your thoughts and reflections on the subject?

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6 thoughts on “I Refuse to do ‘My Part’ for the Environment

  1. Thank you for exploring some of the ideas in my post. It is very heartening to hear about your motivation and desire to inspire others! I thought the result of Study 5 was interesting. It shows that the ‘Better Than Average effect’ increases in magnitude after participants experience a threat to their feelings of self-worth. I deduct from this that attempting to induce guilt in others is likely to be counter-productive. At the same time though, when you are trying to do all you can, it can be frustrating to see others carry on in a ‘business as usual’ manner.

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    • Thanks Veronica – it was my pleasure. I have had a long standing belief that it isn’t just guilt that discourages people from making positive change, but also fear. “The sky is falling” strategy is only effectively briefly. Prolonged fear, anger or aggression will quickly turn most people away from even the most noble causes. With some exceptions, my way to motivate change is with; fun, humour and inspiration. Positive emotions always trump negative emotions, in encouraging change. Thanks Veronique for your post – you inspired me. 🙂

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      • It’s mutual! You have encouraged me to think further about these results and what they really mean. One of the great ironies was the low priority people gave to CC while giving the highest importance to health. It ought to be obvious by now that CC will have the biggest negative impact on health and wellbeing in the near future and that in many countries, including our own, the negative heath impacts are already being felt.

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