You have heard the threats: if we don’t do something about climate change we will experience something akin to apocalyptic collapse. Climate change will increase the number of diseases, catastrophic storms, wildfires, droughts and floods. With climate change becoming more popular in recent months, companies are starting to take actions to ensure our children do not inherit a ruined earth. However, it is questionable whether some companies care more about their image and profits versus sincere desire to help the environment.
I have noticed more and more commercials by companies that cause huge environmental harm touting small ecological improvements. There are the plastic water bottle companies expounding how kind they are to the environment because they have reduced the amount of plastic in their bottles. The problem is, buying a plastic water bottle, using it once and throwing it away is not helping the earth.
Also, there are the car companies bragging how their environmentally friendly cars are going to save the world. Have you seen the commercial where the little boy asks the father, “Why did you buy a hybrid daddy?” and the father says, “For your future.” If the father really cared about the kid’s future he would be riding a bike or taking transit. Hybrids are only about 20% to 35% more efficient than a fuel efficient gasoline powered vehicle, whereas transit is more than 10 times as fuel-efficient per passenger as the average car. If these companies really cared about the environment they would take more drastic measures. One of the main problems is we don’t really know how much we need to change to get maximum benefits.
The Green Guide has a calculator that will calculate how much carbon you produce from various daily activities like showering and driving. For instance, if you cut two minutes off your shower you can reduce 342 pounds of carbon yearly. But what does this really mean? How do we know if this is enough or not? It seems if we were really serious about this we would have some sort of recommendations for each individual and each company, instead of general numbers for each country; to reduce carbon output levels by 20 percent by 2020 for instance.