Large Corporations Need To Take Accountability For Waste


SUPERSCRIPT FOR CITATIONS: ¹ ² ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰

Sometimes I feel really overwhelmed by the looming threat of climate change. I feel guilty for throwing anything away; I hold myself to really high standards sometimes. And that's exactly the problem; the individuals who care about the environment try to shoulder a lot of the burden and make adjustments to their lifestyles. We hear of amazing people who have made huge leaps towards living more sustainably. People who've sworn off air travel, eat a locally-grown vegan diet, collect their own rainwater, and bike everywhere. You know, those people who can fit all the plastic they've used for the entire year in a single mason jar. We see these people who have sacrificed their convenience for the good of the Earth, and it's overwhelming. It's easy to see others doing more and feel like you're not doing enough; we live in an age of rapid comparison. But we need to remember that the bulk of the blame is not on the consumers — it's on industry.

I need to remember that this is just the world we live in. When balancing what's feasible for my lifestyle and what's good for the planet, I sometimes have to make compromises. It's often an uphill battle to reduce your impact. If I truly wanted to help, I would go vegan, stop flying, and refuse to purchase anything made from plastic. But the reality is that I'm tired and stressed and on top of that, I have a mental illness. So it's really hard to do these things. And it's overwhelming to think we have to.

But this is hard. Being vegan would mean that I would need to cook most of my own meals at home, which takes time and energy. Not flying would mean that I don't get to see my family and friends. And so many things are made from plastic. I have started purchasing products that come with end-of-life instructions when I can, but at the moment, the options are limited and they can be expensive. We shouldn't judge others for not participating, because truth be told, reducing your waste in today's society is a bit like trying to run through mud.

Imagine a world in which industry was just as committed to reducing waste as individuals. Imagine that companies and fast-food chains use compostable food packaging, that there are more convenient meatless options, and that we prioritized development of a greener way to fly. There is a better way, and in order to get there, we need to get the CEOs of multi-million and multi-billion dollar companies on board. That'll be tough, because why would those companies agree to make less profit? The health of the Earth isn't enough of an incentive.

As consumers, we can help influence change by voting with our dollars, but progress is slow.

talk about how a lot of the focus is on how individuals can make a different for the environment, while ignoring the huge effect that industry has

We need to remember who the biggest culprit is: INDUSTRY.

They are the ones churning out toxic chemicals and sugary snacks packaged in plastic. We can help by not purchasing these products, but unless we all come together, demand for these items is not going to decrease.

Try to limit the amount of things that you buy that come packaged in plastic. Try to support brands and products that have considered end-of-life accommodations.

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