One small thing you can do for the environment: think critically

You don’t have to believe what everyone tells you. jovike/Flickr

Welcome to “One small thing …”. We asked our authors what one small thing they, or you, could do for the environment. We’ll bring their answers to you on Friday afternoons.

Today’s one small thing comes from Phil Wallis, Research Fellow at Monash University.

I would suggest that the “one most important thing you can do for the environment” is to think critically.

Look beyond the claim being made – does something have “more” or “less” environmental impact? “More” or “less” than what?

Everything we do influences the environment in which we live in some way – we literally exhale carbon dioxide!

When someone makes a claim about what you should know, do or think, they can also be sharing their stereotypes, assumptions, values and experiences.

This is called their “frame”, which can be thought of as a window through which they view the world. Everyone’s frame is different.

To think critically, or to critique something, is not to criticise it. It is to question and learn about how it was framed.

Context matters! What works in one situation might not work in another. Critical thinking can open your perspective and guide you to more environmentally sustainable actions.

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