Helping the Environment is Not a Selfless Pursuit

Are you someone who feels as though doing good things for the environment is kind of like doing charity work? Like you’ve done your good deed for the day if you pick up some rubbish on the footpath? Well, I’m not here to tell you you’re a bad person, because anyone who helps the environment is at the top of my Good People list.

I’m just here to gently point out that anything you do to help the environment isn’t actually selfless. In your mind, it might be, but in reality, it’s doing something that will benefit you in return. You see, the environment kind of gives us EVERY SINGLE THING WE NEED TO SURVIVE!

Therefore, by helping the environment, you are helping yourself. Plant a tree? Awesome, that’s some more fresh air you can breathe. Swap to an all-natural beauty product? Wonderful, that’s one less fish on your plate that has been poisoned.

As I have said many times before, we are not separate from the environment. How we treat it is how we treat ourselves. Doing things that harm the environment is like shitting in your own backyard. Doing things that support it, in turn, support our health.

How we treat the environment is how we treat ourselves

I once heard that for people to take action, the consequence of not taking action needs to be immediate and certain. Perhaps that’s part of the problem for much of society not caring for the environment – the consequence for treating it badly is not so obvious in the first instance (except for those tree loggers who miscalculate which way the tree is going to fall and it falls on them).


How do we combat that? In my opinion, educate people on how the environment is vital for our survival, how intertwined we are with it and how we are harming it through our everyday actions. And of course, we need to show people better ways of doing things. There’s no point telling someone that what they are doing is wrong if we don’t provide them with an alternative.

I have faith that we can make the environment healthy again, but it’s not going to happen unless we start pulling our fingers out. So, make helping the environment a completely selfish act if that’s what it takes to get you respecting it a bit more. Even take selfies of yourself doing it if you need recognition from others. All that matters is that you take action.

What have you done to support the environment lately?