Sami Greenbury
Technology, Teaching & Travel

Why turning the lights off matters

This article was making the rounds on Social Media this afternoon, and I felt the desire to respond. Why Jewish Environmentalism is Pretty Useless
I was once asked what difference I thought I was making on my own, it’s not like I’m out converting 1,000 people to veganism – now that would make a real difference.
But for every 1 person converting 1,000 – there are 1,000 people quietly getting on with being a vegan. I was one of them.
The article seems to say that our individual actions don’t make a real difference, what we need is a change in society. Yet he then suggests that a change in society starts by talking to our neighbours – who are individuals.
I don’t agree with the sentiment, if our Synagogues work on helping our congregates to live sustainable lives, and churches, mosques, councils, scout groups and drinking buddies work with their communities then we’ll soon have a change in society.
The change, as I see it, is not that we need to be “more environmentally friendly” it’s that we need to stop only considering the financial and personal value of something. The race to the lowest price is why people choose unsustainable over sustainable, shop in supermarkets, buy electricity from coal.
Humans are lazy and averse to change, our parents and peers grew up eating whatever they wanted, buying snazzy new gadget and recreationally shopping. None of those are sustainable, but they’re tasty and fun so what the heck?

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