If we’re to collectively win the war against the destruction of the environment, it really has to be a concerted effort which focuses more on the net impact of the effort as opposed to the number of isolated attempts at cracking it. Sure, we’re all told to apply the three Rs – Recycle, Re-use and Reduce, but again, if we’re doing these things in isolation then the net effect is not one which anyone would be proud of. The effects defeat the entire purpose.
Putting it into perspective
Going paperless and adopting more of the digital means of communication is something which is often promoted as a serious step one can take to do their bit to “save the environment,” but when we analyse things a bit closer and we consider the net effect of all which we do in relation to our environmental impact, a different story emerges. Still, it’s good that there is at least a discussion going on and it’s good that there are some actionable steps to be taken suggested because it shows nothing but good intention.
However, if we’re to put things into perspective a bit and look at the net effect of all these actions, when you think of something like the power an email server consumes to send an email along the telecommunication infrastructure it uses, something like that has been proven in many instances to have more of an impact on the environment than sending a snail mail letter which we’re encouraged to ditch as part of going paperless.
Applying this new perspective
It’s obviously going to take some effort in order to reach a point that has us accurately quantifying the effects of our actions on the environmental-friendliness we want to achieve, make no mistake about that! It’s a challenge we should all be up for though, because all it really takes is sharing the information we gather with the same enthusiasm with which we’d share information about stupid things or things that are purely for entertainment purposes, like all the memes which do the rounds on social media platforms.
This new perspective as applied in its practical capacity would require you to ask yourself some questions surrounding the choices you make, mostly choices of what you buy. For example, taking into account the information shared about the environmental impact of sending an email versus mailing a letter, what would you say is the best photo book to buy?
It’s probably one which is made using the highest qualify materials, isn’t it, as opposed to one which will fall apart within a couple of years and require more energy to recycle? In addition to the primary value it offers, which is a great way of storing and organising visual memories, think about the value and impact it has on the environment, with this new perspective in mind, of course. That way you will be able to come to conclusions such as the fact that sometimes using high-quality paper and other materials has less of an environmental impact than the touted digital route.
That’s how we’re going to win this war, if we’re going to win it at all – analysing the net environmental effect!