Saving the planet- a huge exaggeration?

Yesterday at a lecture i ended up in a discussion with a fellow student who was of the opinion that a company cannot state that it’s practice is “saving the planet”. The company in question we were talking about was a company that did design from trash. In my opinion, this question was a bit absurd but when I started thinking about it “saving the planet” is probably the most vague expression ever used.

I believe everyone likes a beautiful high-end design object better than a pile of trash, so in my opinion the business does a lot to save the planet. The more waste were able to use again, the more resources we save. Turning waste into beautiful objects can reduce the amount of stuff ending up at landfills, smelling bad and looking ugly.

But the question was “is this really saving the planet”? Well, let me tell you something. “Saving the planet” is an expression. Yes, an expression. Not something to be interpreted literally. I have never ever seen in be used in a context where you could actually save the entire planet. Please comment if you know any single action, organisation or company who could actually save the planet. If we analyse the expression even more: what exactly is saving the planet? I think it’s clear that it means that humans save the planet from themselves, which is a bit ironical to begin with. And who do we save the planet for? As I see it, the point of all environmental work is to save a beautiful planet for us humans. Whatever excuses we use, we are generally a selfish species, the reason for saving polar bears is probably that they are cute.  Most humans want planet that can fulfill our needs and make us happy generation after generation, the reason were destroying it is because we can only see short term. Like little kids who eat too much candy and end up feeling sick. So to conclude: to save the planet means saving stuff that is useful, nice and beautiful for humans, but it also means saving it from humans.

When the stance for paper-towels says “save the planet- take only one paper”, I am sorry to tell you but you are not saving the planet. Actually you are destroying it by taking that paper which is made of a tree. Nevertheless, you don’t destroy as much if you only take one paper. Destroying less usually means saving.

To conclude: to save the planet is typically used in a context where it means “use a little bit less resources and save the rest for other humans and future generations”. Or in the case of paper towels “save the treas for the squirrels because they are cute”. In this sense, saving the planet is not a huge exaggeration. It is merely an expression for saying something quite complicated.

So dear people, keep saving the planet by destroying it a bit less! I would personally be thankful if you could start by saving the Baltic Sea, because I want to be able to go swimming from the sauna when I have retired (which is in about 45 years). So when considering pissing in the sea, remember that you are actually pissing in my bathing water.

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