Doing My Part as a Global Citizen

Thomas Friedman’s latest column in the NY Times, “This Time is Different,” got me thinking about my own own actions on society as a whole.

Whenever something bad happens on a large scale, we’re always quick to blame somebody.  Normally, it’s the politicians, or the “big corporations,” etc., and so on.  But politicians do what they do in order to stay in office – so they do what their constituents want.  “Big corporations” do what they do, because they need to survive.  So they need to please their shareholders, first, and then their customers.  And the constituents, shareholders, and customers, are all us….Americans.

If we truly want to live more sustainably and live more responsibly, then each and every person will need to do their part.  This means stop consuming in a way that’s unsustainable.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to contribute to a more sustainable society:

1.) I don’t buy bottled water.  Instead, I fill up my Kor One water bottle, whenever I can.  I’ve been trying to get my parents to stop buying bottled water, but I’ve failed thus far.

2.) I don’t get bags when I go shopping unless I have to.  I’ve absolutely banned plastic bags.  And I always take my Trader Joe’s reusable bags when I go grocery shopping there.

3.) I’ve shortened my showers.

4.) I drive less.  And I resolve to ride my bike whenever I can.

I don’t think any one person is at fault here.  Like Phillip Zimbardo says, it’s not the apple, it’s the barrel.  We can’t change people without changing the system.  So let’s work on changing the system.