Practice What You Preach: People’s Climate March 2014

As an environment-lover, I am not perfect. None of us are. But when 300,000+ people attend the People’s Climate March in NYC, they shouldn’t do stuff like this:

Like I said, I am not perfect. Montana overall has a horrible recycling program, so I try to reuse what I can, avoid buying beverages in plastic bottles, and avoid take-out containers if at all possible, since they don’t usually biodegrade.

The march was a community of people who believe that the US government and the UN, which is set to have a climate summit in NYC, aren’t taking enough of a strong stance on climate and environmental issues, specifically climate change and renewable energy. Mashable reports what is to be expected from the meeting:

At the summit, the U.S. is expected to announce several new initiatives to help developing countries increase their resilience to climate change and reduce their emissions, as well as tout the progress made domestically in cutting emissions in recent years, according to the White House.

Don’t get me wrong: there were thousands of tweets and photos about how great this is, and I agree (see the tweets here). But this raises the age old question that most critics ask – do environmentalists practice what they preach?

My biggest problem with this photo, as you all know if you have been following my blog, is that bottled water isn’t sustainable or necessary. How many reusable bottles do we all have? How many water fountains are in public areas in NYC? How many businesses and restaurants will fill up said reusable water bottles for free?


I will get off my soapbox now. It is great that this many people all over the country are marching in protest of slow governmental action. That is what grassroots movements are for. Even the Obama administration has enacted new rules to help with US emissions, according to the Natural Resource Defense Counsel. These include changing fuel economy standards by 2025, implementing clean-air standards for fossil-fuel power plants, and phasing-out harmful industrial chemicals present in car air conditioners.

For more info, check out the Climate Action Plan and a couple of blog posts I have done about this very subject.

But the next step is actually implementing these things yourself. It is awesome that some action is being taken by the US government and others around the world. However, if you are going to take part in a grassroots movement, you have to try harder, and lead by example.

Recycle. Drink tap water. And for goodness sakes – don’t throw your trash on the ground.

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