Here’s a question for you – Is it reasonable to expect people to sacrifice for the greater good, when classical economics teaches that human beings will seek to maximize their own gain?
In other words, would you spend extra money on biodegradable garbage bags that break easily just to keep traditional plastic out of a landfill?
Time Magazine thinks you would. Here’s a quote:
“Simple models of human behavior where I pursue only my own interests are far too limited,” says Rebecca Henderson, co-director of the Harvard Business School’s Business and Environmental Initiative. “Humans are much more cooperative and empathetic than that.”
According to the article, new analysis released on Mar. 12 by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and the Garrison Institute’s Climate Mind Behavior Project found that personal actions could reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 1 billion metric tons by 2020.
Basically, if households adopted small lifestyle changes, like not idling their cars and reducing waste and red meat consumption, the nation could reduce their carbon footprint by 15%. That would be a result of individuals making new choices, not large companies.
Fundamentally, Americans would need to switch their basic belief system. That more consumption does not equal more happiness.
Interested in making your carbon footprint smaller? Here’s a list of suggestions for every room of your house, and for other areas of your life as well.