Development activities, performed by individuals as consumers and citizens, have affected many aspects such as physical, economic, social, cultural and environmental. We are constantly consuming resources, degrading the resources’s ability to provide our needs faster than they can renew. Environmental impacts happen, such as changes in the proportion of land cover, the increasing number of critical areas, watershed damage, changes in water storage capacity, changes in ecosystems and biodiversity.
Last summer, Pope Francis released a papal encyclical, “Laudato Si”, which took on the topics of climate change, consumerism and environmental degradation through a moral lens. Regardless of what critics say, the encyclical told us that environmental destruction comes from the same evil that leads to social destruction: moral relativity.
So, what do morality have to do with the environmental problem?
When talking about morality, most people refer to human behaviour, especially the distinction between good and bad, right or wrong behavior. They address questions of right and wrong before make right decisions, completed by a broad way of thinking about how to live good life, and we called it: environmental ethics.
Environmental ethics talk relationship between living creatures and absolutely, the earth. On many environmental discussion, individuals are the targets for blaming when their action are harmful to the environment. Then, environmental ethics address ourselves question: How should we live? Why should we care? What is the right thing for us to do?
The answer is clear. In its official website, WWF told and helped us clearly what action that we can do. One of many ways is measuring our own impact by knowing our carbon footprint, and reduce the numbers.
What is carbon footprint?
For some readers here, carbon footprint is a new term. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Glossary defines “carbon footprint” as the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, family, building, organization, or company. Carbon footprint shows us how carbon emissions compare and interacts with other elements of human needs. In other words, reducing humanity’s carbon footprint is the most essential step we can take to end the crisis.
So, what should we do to reduce?
I will not explain everything here, but I want you to discover by youself. Visit footprint.wwf.org.uk now, follow the steps, and less than 5 minutes and could change the way you live. You might be surprised how your choice and pressure on food source, how you travel to other places, the quantity and quality of life styles required at your home can reduce your carbon footprint. This all may seems difficult but remember, changing daily habits will be significantly impacted. The next question is – which habit will you tackle first?
Remember, we must take concrete steps to preserve and protect nature for ourselves and for our generations to come. Here, maybe I don’t propose a grand schemes to resolve the environmental degradation but I just propose changing attitudes and behaviors, because I believe a simple changing of daily habits can break the cycle of environmental exploitation.
Humanity is simply demanding more from the earth can provide and Pope Francis remind us once again on his encyclical:
“The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God. There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself.”
Let’s do it together, more saving, more doing.