The planet is going to implode! If we don’t find someplace to put all our trash there won’t be any space left for us humans! We are running out of natural resources! Global warming is killing our fish!
I could go on and on but I won’t. Frankly I am sick and tired of all the eco-doomsayers.
I consider myself an environmentalist. My business is built on helping promote
planetary stewardship and promoting those businesses that truly want to be part
of the solution. But all we ever hear about is the PROBLEM.
Throughout my entire life, I have been trained to be an analytical problem solver. When someone comes to me with “a problem” I automatically look for the opportunity that each “problem” inherently brings with it. It doesn’t matter if the problem is environmental, in a relationship, at work or whatever; every problem has opportunity.
So why are we so intent talking about all of the negative (the problem) and not talking about all of the positive (the opportunity/solution)?
I think it’s because here in the US we are a society of overly dramatic drones listening to the media hype on subjects ranging from weight control, diseases, relationships and just about anything else that we can create some drama around. And yes, that includes the environment.
I subscribe to “green” e-newsletters from various sources and countries. The interesting thing to note is that some of the e-newsletters from other countries are focused on solution whereas most of the ones I receive from the States focus on telling us all about the problem without even suggesting that there is opportunity to be had. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great ideas in the US but for whatever reason they all seem to get tied up in the drama and struggle to reach their full potential. You know, that great “red tape” that seems intent on holding us back.
Okay, what do I mean by “opportunity”. No, I am not thinking “get rich quick” or anything like that. If you just think about an environmental problem we have facing us today in the US, if you choose to focus outside the drama of the situation, you will see there are solutions for all of the problems. The challenge is finding those individuals who are concerned enough to break out of the box and look for the solution.
One example locally in Portsmouth NH is a company that was created to help restaurants with their excess garbage. They decided that the shear amount of garbage being thrown out was ridiculous and all that garbage could be used for another purpose. The goal for them is zero waste. So they started a business. They now go to businesses in and around the Portsmouth area collecting trash and making sure that it is “up-cycled” to its full potential. Another company in the same area has made a business of recycling plastics into usable materials that can then be recycled again into something else once they are at end of life.
These businesses and many more have come about by the people who do not look at problems but rather focus on solutions.
Some of the little stuff is easy, but can we change the big stuff? Absolutely! As noted by Margaret Mead – “Never doubt that a small thoughtful group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
In my blogs I generally start with a current problem but my goal in each is to offer some sort of educated solution to get people to start to think. Once one person starts thinking on the solution, others add their thoughts and before you know it something wonderful happens….no more problem! Generally speaking, one person usually does not have a solution but it always starts with the one. Then they tell someone else who adds to their solution and from there the solutions are endless! I don’t have all the answers but I am more than happy to start the conversation!
The media thrives on drama. After all, it makes for good press ratings. Face it, doomsday gets good press! So all of our biggest eco-challenges are made to look so awesome and out of control that us mere mortals think we can’t possibly do anything to help. Think again. Read past what the media reports. In most of the media I read there is some truth about the real “problem”. Understanding that and separating it from the drama is where the solution comes easily into view.
As the saying goes, “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” We need more people on the solution side!