In the morning, in order to have time to take my son to school and not be late for work, I postpone the “trip” with three different types of garbage for months. Once the selective waste collection experiment in our house has finished, the eco-tour to the nearest containers lasts up to 30 minutes in the opposite direction to work. And I roll back my green activity.
“One in two people does this,” says VTsIOM sociologist Andrey Daudrich. – The proportion of people who carry out ecological practices has fallen from 58% in 2021 to 52% in 2023. Everything “sunk”. The mood has changed. There is awareness, above all, of saving water and air, but what yesterday seemed immoral – how to obtain benefits for the conservation of nature, today takes the form of a new philosophy – must be profitable to protect nature.
Sociologists identify various incentives for “green” behavior: benefits for housing and communal services or travel by public transport (45% each), leisure benefits (24%), additional days off (18%). About other incentives – diplomas or just thanks, he recalled the “statistical error” – almost 0% of the survey participants. Only 1% joked: “Diplomas would be fun.” This is what a turboman is like: a momentary benefit for one person is more valuable than a global one.
break above the knee
“People cannot be fooled,” Evgeny Schwartz, a professor at the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is convinced. – Even one-time incentives, including materials, will not help. It is necessary to change the paradigm of the environmental agenda – first, not to ask an individual citizen, but to create incentives for the development of the economy based on eco-technologies. Yes, it is not profitable for companies to introduce them and it is not profitable for the State. Therefore, business and management must be greened through internal decolonization: abolish internal benefits for production and business if management is transferred to Moscow or abroad, and science must be motivated to find out. Then the person, breaking his knee, will begin to change consumption habits, to give as much as he takes.
We live in debt to nature, but it had to be paid yesterday
Meanwhile, the business is moving away from pure production. According to the UN, the ratio between nature (55%) on Earth and the environment (45%) is shrinking. This is the new turbo-reality, when wildlife is crowded by the environment. In addition to household waste, another reason is the indestructibility of synthetic waste. Humanity produces up to 500 million tons of plastic every year. 51% of plastic is thrown away, 22% goes to landfill, 17% is incinerated and only 10% is recycled. If everything is left as it is, by 2040-2050 nature will become an environment. And the growth of plastic recycling will reduce the pressure on nature, but it will not solve the problem. It is compounded and requires a combination of approaches: sustainable development, corporate greening, waste recycling, and “greening” of human behavior.
Rights and obligations
However, the garbage heaps are growing. The problem is that most people pay for garbage collection at rates that exceed the amount of garbage by up to three times. This happens because the collection of payments is based on square meters, and people pay for garbage collection from apartments where they do not actually live. The communities of owners and the management companies prove in court their right to switch to collection after the fact, they even win, but they encounter resistance from the monopoly operators. It is not profitable for them: the cost of selective collection reduces the benefits.
According to the head of the Russian Ecological Society, Rashid Ismailov, separate collection of waste is hampered for two reasons: operators refuse to switch from standard to actual volumes of garbage collection, and regional authorities do not encourage collection. separately, supporting garbage collection. collectors monopoly.
– The authorities have the right to introduce a separate waste system, but there is no obligation, – says Rashid Ismailov. – Only when separate collection becomes mandatory, until the introduction of fines for operators, then we can talk about fines for violating the norms of garbage separation by individuals.
500 years with a tank
And there’s no time to swing. Environmentalists liken your course to a turbo timer. After turning off the ignition, it keeps the engine idling for a couple of minutes, which reduces heating, but does not prevent overheating. So it is with nature.
– We live in debt to nature, and we had to pay it off yesterday, – says the head of the ecology commission of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Natalya Belyaeva. – Tomorrow – very expensive, the day after tomorrow – no money is enough. And we still have an ecotriumvirate – government – business – people. This is a consequence of the fact that we have lived with a garbage can for 500 years. Now the entire periodic table is in a separate trash. The lack of understanding of this and the lack of skills give distortions. And the participation of people in ecopractices is falling, the number of volunteers is decreasing, but their quality and awareness of the actions is growing.
So, according to the Chamber of Commerce, in Syktyvkar, where management companies refused to dispose of waste separately, when they raised the eco tax, people did not give up. Part of the HOA called other companies and they organized the removal of the sorted trash themselves. It is true that such a philosophy of small actions stands up only when the philosophy of global eco-actions takes root, and is linked to them. Man again postpones the salvation of nature and himself until tomorrow. And when only the environment remains of nature, it will be too late to clear the brain of the accumulated garbage of dogmas, such as “it must be profitable to protect nature.”