Global warming and resource scarcity are quite possibly the two greatest threats to our civilization in history. The worst case scenario is the irreversible alteration of the Earth to an uninhabitable state: our self-extermination.

The best case scenario, is this:

trends-in-natural-disasters_a899

Floods and cyclones have collectively more than tripled in the last 30 years

The UN estimates we collectively produce over 1 billion tons of garbage every year

Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world’s population, live in areas of physical scarcity.

 The best case scenario is today.

It’s easy to blame the institution, the corporation, the government, the other.

But, let me ask you a question. What have you done?

What have you personally sacrificed to better our environment?

Most splurge on things like hybrid cars, solar panels or CFL/LED replacement bulbs and call it a day. These decisions don’t require us to alter our habits. They don’t require us to change.

These decisions aren’t sacrifices.

They’re luxuries.

What we need as a society is some serious introspection. The big decisions are being taken care of by the experts, government and interested parties. Forget about them for a minute. Focus on the small, the habitual.

The following are changes that you can implement today:

  1. Eat more fresh produce instead of processed foods.
  2. Refuse all unwanted newspapers and advertisements.
  3. Carry a water bottle around with you (instead of buying fountain or bottle drinks).
  4. Take shorter, more effective showers
  5. Switch all mailed bill payments to electronic payments..
  6. Learn how to use toilet paper more efficiently.
  7. Centralize your electronics and appliances to power bars and turn them off when you’re not using them.
  8. Walk or bike to your destinations whenever you can.
  9. Set your washing machine to use cold water.
  10. Seriously consider whether or not that new purchase is necessary.

Note that every single one of these will also help improve your health, save you money or save you time.

If you implemented this from today, you could:

  1. Reduce personal water usage by half.
  2. Reduce personal garbage by half.
  3. Save hundreds each month on unnecessary purchases, utilities and transportation costs.
  4. Live a healthier, more active life.

This isn’t a plea to sacrifice a luxury. It is a plea to sacrifice your laziness for the betterment of your health, happiness and the future of our civilization.