Photo by Vincent M.A. Janssen

As the world develops technologically, environmental degradation is becoming a severe problem. Now, more than ever, environmental consciousness should be a critical value people religiously observe.

Why are people doing so much to raise awareness instead of taking concrete steps toward environmental change? For so long, there’s been a continuous action toward people’s environmental consciousness, but it seems that so little of these translate to evident actions.

The environment is at the heart of every prosperous society. It provides them the resources and support to improve and enhance their communities. People’s foundation of existence dramatically depends on the environment and its essential benefit, especially with its inherent connection with providing clean water, abundant forests, and the food people consume. Hence, it’s only a logical and straightforward conclusion that people are improving their quality of life by managing and keeping the environment unpolluted.

Green Is Wealth

Author Thomas F. McLoughlin and countless other authors have regularly used the environment and its different facets as their art’s muses. From scenery representations in drawings and paintings to environmental narratives and the use of such in their stories, the environment has always offered its atemporal charm for the public’s gaze and scrutiny. However, these art pieces don’t simply exist for the sake of entertainment. Between books and paintings, they weren’t just intricately crafted for basic appreciation. Often, they’re created to raise environmental consciousness and make people aware of how important it is to take care of their surroundings.

Maslow has long defined men’s hierarchy of needs, putting necessities as the foundation and self-actualization as the top, the most advanced condition they desire to fulfill. There may be many levels to this hierarchy, but the other can’t be achieved without the completion or procurement of the previous levels. Hence, to further and considerably develop, society must first gratify its most basic needs- food and water – the primary survival resources. The right environment provides these.

Society has been provided resources to thrive, survive, and reproduce successfully. But its crucial concern always goes back to the environment: how it can be maintained at a close to pristine condition so as it continues to provide communities with the proper protection and ample resources. Achieving these all boil down to environmental consciousness and its importance.

What Is Environmental Consciousness

When people talk about being environmentally aware, it’s typically associated with corporations’ responsibilities to combat the harsh consequences of their operations. From using more sustainable alternatives for packaging to using more “green” or environmentally friendly ingredients throughout their items’ production, these processes make corporations and consumers less guilty of their consumption and production patterns. However, more often than not, these substantial “adjustments” don’t necessarily offer the most effect on the environment. There’s also little to no supporting evidence backing their environmentally friendly claims of a sustainable operation.

Beyond attributing this responsibility to the corporate, the public must do their part.

Environmental consciousness refers to people’s tendencies to observe pro-environmental behavior. This is brought about by the mindfulness of how people’s actions and choices can impact the environment, resulting in them going the extra mile to minimize their influence. When people are more conscious, they make better decisions to protect and safeguard their surroundings and live a more ecologically friendly life.

Achieving an Environmentally Conscious Society

The importance of the environment has already been established. But going back to the question posited earlier, why does it seem like people are only putting more reputation in raising awareness than doing concrete actions to battle the consequences of environmental degradation?

The answer is simple: by raising awareness, more people recognize their faults, leading to their choice to change their behavior. When routines are changed of one’s volition, this change becomes more sustainable. They won’t feel forced or compelled to change for a cause they may not necessarily believe in or believe the consequences on. Raising awareness instead of depending on specific figures of the society to change and hoping others will follow results in a more significant reaction within the community. Corporations aren’t only the ones closely expected to change their habits. Everyone else will be encouraged to observe and adjust their lifestyles.

It all starts with knowing more about the consequences of one’s behavior. This prompts them to be more conscious of their decisions.

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