A new theory suggests that we think of our relationship with the environment like a social exchange, leading to the belief that ‘environmentally friendly’ behavior can compensate for ‘harmful’ behavior. And research reveals that thinking like this could have harmful effects on the environment after all.
This is because we may believe that ecological behavior cancels-out non-ecological behavior, while this is obviously not the case. In reality, all consumption causes permanent environmental harm, and green options are at best less harmful rather than restorative. And unfortunately studies show that when so-called ‘eco-friendly’ items are added to a set of ‘conventional’ items, people believe the environmental impact of the whole set is unchanged, or even reduced.
“For instance, some groups have found that people intuitively think the environmental burden of a hamburger and an organic apple in combination is lower than the environmental burden of the hamburger alone, or that the total emissions of a car pool remain the same when hybrid cars are added to the pool,” highlights Sörqvist, one of the researchers.
This leads us to pursue all sorts of misguided quick fixes to assuage our eco-guilt.
“People might purchase some extra groceries because they are ‘eco-labeled’; think that they can justify jetting abroad for vacation because they have been cycling to work; or take longer showers because they’ve reduced the water temperature. And companies – nations, even – claim to balance greenhouse gas emissions by planting trees or by paying for carbon offsets through the European Union Emission Trading Scheme.
“Meanwhile, the best thing for the environment would of course be for us to consume less overall,” stresses Sörqvist. (1)
A research stating nothing more than the obvious.
The solution to a problem is not a solution to the problem.
But the nullification of the problem itself.
There is no need to be eco-friendly.
Because there is no cosmos be friendly to.
You are that cosmos!
You are not part of anything.
You ARE everything!
Try to do good.
And you will end up doing something wrong.
Because the only way to be good is not through doing something.
But through doing nothing.
And letting the universe tell you what is good.
And let that sparrow die.
It will be the best thing you did for it…