3 Reasons Why Individual Action Matters
Someone recently commented on a post I made to Facebook, asking why we, as individuals, should make an effort to fight climate change when corporations are the ones with all the influence. And I agree—to a degree.
3 Reasons Why Individual Action Matters When Mitigating Climate Change
Dismissing the importance of individual responsibility has become a popular argument for doing nothing to fight climate change. Of course, corporations need to make more environmentally-conscious decisions and be held accountable for their actions. In a world of more than 7.7 billion people, individual action is still a significant part of the equation.
- Consumers drive demand.
Most—if not all—companies exist to make a profit. But the demand for their products still relies on how much consumers buy.
So, if we as consumers vote with our wallets and choose to buy only from sustainable brands, companies will have to start making sustainable shifts to maintain demand and continue making a profit.
The fashion industry is a great example. Fifteen years ago, when my family first began our journey toward a zero-waste lifestyle, there were almost no sustainable clothing brands on the market.
Today, many consumers know about the fast fashion industry’s damage to the environment. Before deciding to buy a product, they may first research how it was designed or produced. This shift means there’s now a profitable market for eco-friendly clothing emerging, and as a result, more sustainable brands are popping up all the time.
The takeaway: companies are more inclined to adopt sustainable practices when it’s profitable. And they can only make a profit if there’s demand for their products.
- Taking action reduces eco-anxiety.
Another reason taking individual action matters is that it reduces eco-anxiety—especially for kids.
Teaching kids that they can do something to help can begin shifting fear into empowerment.
Help them establish a plan for personal action, so they can participate in solutions, or teach them about simple steps your family can take together, like:
- Using reusable shopping bags and containers
- Volunteering to clean up local beaches or creeks
- Planting a garden
- Making positive changes inspires hope.
We know that individual action alone may not be enough to solve climate change, but we can inspire hope by focusing on what we can do.
By demonstrating the changes you wish to see, who knows—you may inspire friends, co-workers, family members, or neighbors to make their own changes and join you on the journey to living a more sustainable life.