“No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”
– David Attenborough
When you look at something as a whole, you can start to create a culture of care.
When we buy something – hold it in our hand, use it or wear it – we get to experience how that object relates to us as an individual and how it impacts our own life. But how can we develop a perspective so that we can see how that object relates to other beings or impacts the future of the planet?
We are all aware of the impact that certain business practices can have on our own lives and that of the planet. For example, plastic is one of the most commonly-used materials and yet it poses a serious threat to the environment and to the health of consumers in direct and indirect ways. Exposure to harmful chemicals, whether it’s during the manufacturing process or leaching from plastic packaging into the food we eat, is linked with adverse health outcomes. The promotion of plastics substitutes and the safe disposal of plastic waste requires urgent and definitive action.
Even if we are aware of the consequences of business practices like plastic production, they still feel removed from us as individuals. It’s hard to grasp the magnitude of their impact, and even harder to imagine that we have the tools to influence them. But if we have a way of understanding how we are inter-related and directly connected to the whole, we can start to develop an awareness of how our individual actions affect others. By starting to develop a culture of caring that helps to accept beauty as well as grief, we can take the first step towards building new languages, stories, symbols and relationships between our existence and other beings.