There are many noble causes in the world to support – too many in fact, for just one person. Environmental concerns alone feature causes against oil companies, fracking, aerosol products, and dumping toxic waste into water sources.
There are also several causes for the preservation of habitats, and the wildlife that thrives within them.
Save the whales.
Save the pandas
Save the tigers.
The list is endless.
The Smoking Hippie Paradox
I once made friends with an American hippie from Texas, while still living in Jamaica. He talked of little else but helping the environment. He showered once per day, flushed his toilet as little as possible, and did his best to educate everyone around him on the importance of preserving the environment.
After this, he would then blow through an entire pack of cigarettes each day – not counting the weed he also smoked heavily.
After raising my eyebrows in amusement a few times at his inconsistency, I then asked him, “What are your views on pollution?”
Of course, he immediately began to blame Corporate America, while emphatically pointing with his iPhone. Corporate America was to blame for pollution, and the people who did not take responsibility for their actions, he declared.
“And what about you?” I asked him.
He paused mid-puff to ask, “What about me?”
“You smoke. Smoke is bad for the environment.”
He looked at his cigarette. “What’s one cigarette?” he said, defensively.
“You smoke a pack a day – that’s 20 cigarettes every day of your life,” I pointed out.
He was silent for a moment, and then he put his cigarette out in the dirt. “You’re too smart for your own good,” he said, derisively.
It was not a compliment.
The Effects of Smoking on the Environment
In America alone, 1% of the entire national electricity consumption goes to the growing of marijuana. And for every joint, there’s two pounds of carbon dioxide emissions making its way up to the ozone layer.
Just like tobacco, growing marijuana leads to high levels of deforestation and the use of scarce, natural resources to farm something that does not satisfy any of our basic needs – not food, not shelter, not clothing.
In fact, agriculture in general has not been kind to Mother Nature.
Can’t Do it All
But ultimately, this is not a post to discourage people from smoking – though ‘secretly’ I hope it does. It just reminds us that even the best intentions to live right can often become thwarted by a simple fact: we can’t do it all.
It’s virtually impossible to do all the things that are beneficial to the environment, and if we did, we probably wouldn’t have much of a life to speak of.
Even so, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do all we can, whenever we can. After all, we’re not just trying to create a better world for ourselves, but to leave a better one behind for our children, as well.
To me, there’s no better way to understand that than to go out in nature and see what you’re preserving for yourself. There’s a great big world outside your front door, and it doesn’t hurt to step outside and explore it.
Exploring a Local Nature Preserve
Nevertheless, hiking is always a great experience, and one that ultimately reminds us of what we destroy when we indulge in every destructive whim that comes to mind.
This is especially important when we give into impulses that not only damage the environment we share with others, but which causes harm to ourselves.
Check out the pictures from the hiking trip below.