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2 Tutorials that teach Looking Forward
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Looking Forward

Looking Forward

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Identify contributions that the government and individuals can make to improve the environment.

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what's covered
This tutorial will cover the topic of looking forward in the future of environmental issues. People need to realize that when it comes to environmental issues, there are no silver bullet solutions; therefore, a host of various approaches and solutions will be needed to address the myriad of environmental challenges humans face. We will discuss how to move forward with environmental issues in government, business, and on an individual level.

Our discussion breaks down as follows:

  1. Government
  2. Private Business
  3. Individual

1. Government

For government policies to work, they will need to be politically possible. They need to target key players and decision makers who could shift behavior and have impacts on environmental issues. They need to encourage behavioral change through regulation, monitoring, and enforcement, and they need to provide education and information through various avenues.

Government capabilities to meet environmental challenges include:

Government Action Purpose
Taxes and Fees Implement on substances and actions that can harm humans and the environment
Subsidies and Grants Provide to encourage development of substances and human actions which are beneficial without being environmentally negative
Stakeholders Facilitate and collaborate between stakeholder groups
Child Limitation Pass and enforce childbirth limitation policies
Energy Reduction Implement and enforce energy consumption reduction policies
Government Energy Reduce energy consumption in government facilities
Green Politics Improve energy sources and promote green politics

2. Private Business

Private businesses can improve their agricultural practices for longevity, productivity, equity, and health. They can also decrease their energy consumption and improve their energy sources.

There are some companies that market themselves as green companies but do not actually follow sustainable or green principles. When companies do this, it is called greenwashing.


Monsanto, a large genetic engineering seed company, has been accused of greenwashing. However, there are strong viewpoints both supporting and negating such accusations.

3. Individual

Individuals can also take action by encouraging and practicing social norms and attitudes which support sustainable lifestyles. This could have widespread impacts in behavior change over time.

The original campaign to reduce, reuse, and recycle was such an effort that it resulted in an increase in people's awareness of how to manage their waste streams and how to protect the environment by improving how they disposed of waste.

Recycling Symbol

There are a variety of other tools that individuals can use to address environmental issues.

Actions for Individuals Description
Population control Family size can also be determined by individuals -- decisions to have less children can reduce human population growth.
Environmental literacy People can become more environmentally literate and conscious by educating themselves on important topics and issues, both in their communities and abroad. As technology improves, it is becoming easier to be environmentally literate about global issues, which might have an impact on individuals' lives.
Green Products People can also choose to purchase greener products, such as eating more organic foods, and use services from sustainable practicing companies. People can also choose to build homes that are more ecologically friendly.
Collective Action People can take collective action by joining or supporting environmental nonprofit organizations.


Restaurant chain Chipotle focuses on an organic and ethically-acquired product.

Today we learned about ways that people can address environmental issues moving forward. We explored options at the government level, in the private business realm, and at the personal individual scale.

Source: Adapted from Sophia instructor Jensen Morgan, RECYCLE PD HTTP://BIT.LY/1D7M4O2 CHIPOTLE CC HTTP://BIT.LY/1LZAVRV