The simple reason the push for a sustainable environment is not working, at least not where I live.
Here’s a thought.
We cannot expect people to adapt to changing a habit and make them care more for the environment when their basic needs are not met.
Ever heard of Maslow’s hierarchy?
It’s the concept that our human needs will dictate our behavior and motivations in life.
To put it simply, in some ways recycling is for the privileged, either those who are educated or have achieved a position where they are stable enough to become civic conscious and care for more than their day-to-day necessities.
I live in a third-world country, a developing nation whereby we are still dealing with poverty, social inequality, political unrest, and corruption. We have made advancements toward becoming an industrialized country in the last decade, but many more gaps are yet to bridged.
This means a majority of the citizens in these places are still more concerned about getting through the day, with a survival mentality to make ends meet.
Recycling and our environmental needs, are not on the top of their list of priorities.
On paper, it looks good, and in communities where the demographic has a higher income, or in the city centers we see increased public compliance and better response to the initiatives for recycling.
However in the other areas of the city, in low-cost housing areas, or in the poorer districts these recycling bins are filled with general waste instead.
So what’s the takeaway from this?
If you want to make an effective change in others and in your community, think about how their basic needs can be met first.
Finally, this is not meant to demotivate you, and I’m not saying to do nothing. Any baby steps in progress is still progress, right.
I’m saying to put more thought into things, and how to do them better. Some things are more complicated than it sounds, and we need all the bright minds we can get to help solve them.