Bob Gottfried is the Founder of ACE Clinics in Toronto, Ontario.

Make a Difference: Two Major Mindframes You Need to Adopt for a Greener Tomorrow

One of the most challenging aspects of the climate change challenge remains its sheer scope. How does one battle against what is, in the most literal possible sense, a global problem? Its size and complexity can be a recurring and serious obstacle to finding the motivation to be active in the increasing prominence of sustainable endeavors. However, the fact remains that there are little decisions you can make every day that will either positively or negatively impact the Earth and play a role in the legacy you leave for the next generation. It is normal to feel like just one person, with very limited ability to create substantial change. However, given the growing library of knowledge we have about the environmental consequences of so many of our actions, we all have a moral obligation to do our part. It might not individually be what tips the worldwide scale to a better tomorrow, but enough people volunteering to do their part will be what makes all the difference. Here are two very easy ways you can get started.

Ask the Most Important Question

A major contributor to the current environmental situation is undoubtedly the developed world’s booming and widespread inability to distinguish between “want” and “need” in our day-to-day lives. As nations and societies have become more advanced, meeting our needs became a given. So, in its place, too many of us have developed an addiction to feeding every single one of our wants. That mentality is simply not a sustainable one. It feeds a destructive cycle of overproduction and overconsumption which is what strains our resources so dramatically (and unjustly). Remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Replacing an item with something new simply because you can will only perpetuate negative environmental impacts in that product’s production process. Instead, ask yourself if you really need something before you buy it. Taking just a few moments to remember your place in the much larger picture of sustainability is the first step to a greener future.

Speak Up and Speak Out

The Western world led the way to many incredible advancements. The way in which we have developed science and technology will undoubtedly play a role in how we tackle climate change as an international community. However, it is the innovation in a different sector of society that will make that progress possible. That invention is the adoption and embrace of widespread representative democracy. To elevate your influence beyond the small day-to-day choices that you make, you are going to need to be active in your nation’s political process. Candidates with strong environmental platforms need your support to get into a position to enact serious and lasting change. So, you have a duty to get out there and cast your vote to make that happen!