It's not enough to sit around and wish for more sustainable actions on the parts of other people. We have to work to make people feel it's vital to care about the environment they live in - for more reasons than just the financial. Sure, it's great to get a large tax refund, but isn't it even greater to work together in your community to clean up your local creek? If your answer is "But I'm so busy," you're reflecting a paradigm shared by many.
We are just too busy trying to make ends meet to care about our environment as it dies around us.
Think about that statement. Take it in. Close your eyes and think about your childhood. Did you climb a tree as kid? Did you go wading in a creek? Many of us used rope swings to jump into rivers. Now, that tree is gone. It's gone because we were all too busy to take care of it. The creek has dried up. It's dried up because we were too busy manufacturing things that sit on shelves and collect dust to notice that the stuff we were sending up in the air was leading to climate change. That river? It's too polluted to jump into now. It's polluted because we were too busy to make sure we understood the chemicals we were creating, and now it's too late.
Many Native American tribes had a different paradigm. Before they made a big decision, they would consider how that would affect the tribe - generations in the future.
Our paradigm is the "now" paradigm. We need it now. Cut down the trees so we can print 10,000 copies of a book now that will sell 10 copies. We'll put the rest into a dumpster somewhere when they don't sell at the bargain price. Harvest the mine now so we can have a bunch of sparkly gems to sell. When they don't sell, well then what happens to them? Engineer that corn so that it grows now so that we can feed lots of people and cows - and so that much of the food we harvest can rot in the grocery store and be put into a dumpster when it's not purchased.
We are owned by the word, "now." We need to do work now. We need that report now. We cannot go out to fix the dying Earth, because there are so many things we have to do "now."