If it pollutes the air, the water or the ground, it also pollutes mankind

The conditions in which people live and the experiences that they go through affect their identities. Environment’s influence on the formation of individuals is unquestionable. It can change a person, create new thoughts and establish values. What values can be inspired by an environment that is dirty, degraded and marked by some selfish people who don’t worry about the common good? Certainly not the ones that benefit everyone and instill care and concern for the well being of other people and for the preservation of what belongs to everybody.

The increasing amount of dirt and pollution in big cities is alarming. Besides creating a lot of discomfort for the population, it causes physical and mental health problems. Inadequate accumulation of solid waste is responsible for the transmission of 13 diseases. Dengue, for example, is 40% more common in places where there is a lot of illegally disposed trash. Stress is another problem that is increased by typical urban odors, waste thrown on sidewalks, air pollution – which clearly affects the organism in many ways – and visual pollution – a problem that some Brazilian cities are trying hard to solve.

The signs of neglect can be seen on the darkened walls of almost every building, on the trash that surrounds every citizen and on public spaces that are frequently destroyed by the ones who use them. Such indifference towards the conservation of the environment reflects a complete contempt for people. To ignore the importance of preserving spaces of common use is to ignore the citizens, because what pollutes the ground, the water and the air also pollutes minds.

Respecting everyone who is part of the society is an obligation of citizens. Governmental actions for conservation of the public environment are useless if people do not cooperate. That is social responsibility, a very common subject nowadays. The concept is simple: we are not alone in this world, so we do not have the right to act like there will be no consequences. Therefore, profit or personal satisfaction cannot justify production methods and lifestyles that ignore the future and the intangible value of natural resources, biodiversity, atmosphere and human relations. Nowadays, everybody knows the importance of sustainability and conscious production and management of trash to enable current and future generations to survive. The ends do not justify the means, and society has to worry about the results of personal and commercial activities. Sustainable attitudes must respect the public environment, and turns making money into an activity that does not destroy nature.

The consequences of centuries of human activity can be felt everywhere. Imprudence creates problems for the whole species, whether they involve physical and mental health, happiness, people’s characters or human relations. Solving problems after they are real is certainly harder than doing it before, by fighting their causes. The intention of sustainability is to make everyone understand that.

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