It's not the environment
One of my great pet peeves is "the environment." THE environment.
As in, "save the environment", "protect the environment", "it's good for the environment". This makes the environment a separate, intangible, impersonal embodiment which is independent from me, my family, my job ... and from the impacts of my actions on environmental resources and on me. It makes it easier to dismiss.
In truth, even as we've entered the Anthropocene Era (the next geologic period of time which is defined by how much humans are actively affecting the Earth and its systems), the core of the planet and her resources will be here well after we humans are gone. They may be different than what we and our economy are used to, but that's a bigger problem for us than it is for Nature. She's been through this before--but she managed it; it wasn't forced on her by an inhabitant. However, there are some humans who appreciate the economic and spiritual values in maintaining Nature as we know it.
And for this reason, I beg you to never use the term "the environment" again. Instead, it is "OUR environment." First person. Active. Possessive. She's on our side. IT'S PERSONAL. After all, we're talking about the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the wood we build with, the natural resources our economy and jobs are based on, and the food we eat. Our future is inextricably intertwined with Nature and our environmental resources. This little adjective better reflects how our actions will impact our future.
It's personal. Talk like it. Our environment, along with our families, will thank you.
Jason Holstine is founder and CEO of Amicus GBC.