Virtual Environmentalism: Another lens of Sociology | Adamas University

Virtual Environmentalism: Another lens of Sociology


Virtual Environmentalism: Another lens of Sociology

Today, I will be discussing on the issue of environment in general, and virtual environmentalism in particular.

Framework of thinking about Sociology and Environment

I would like to state that when I talk about environmental sociology then ‘sociology’ comes first and then comes the environmental issues. Thus, we need to understand how environment plays an important role in shaping the society. Hence, both micro and macro sociological perspectives are needed to be applied to this study. The routines of daily life and its embedded social relations are very much part of the cause of world environmental crisis. Attention should be given to human and non-human natures and the role of power and social inequality in shaping this human and non-human interactions. In the light of classical sociological theories we can build new directions towards a better environment building and a critical interdisciplinary approach to environmentalism. Previously, I discussed why we need to study sociological theories. Below is the link for those who have not yet seen that:

Why study virtual environmentalism

Environmentalists everywhere state that it is hard to be environmental in the way that spending time and money in the cause of environment do not bring in immediate changes in society. But general people usually seek immediate results of their efforts they put and the money they spend. In the case of working for environment immediate result is impossible. What we already have done to this environment needs time for its healing. We have already been trapped in the ‘treadmill of production’ and consumption. We do not have time for ‘extra’ (think whether the thought process is really ‘extra’) thoughts. In such cases, we desire for change but ‘easy’ change.

This is why the concept of virtual environmentalism is much needed in our present-day society. It is doing something for our environment without putting much effort! We can make it part of our everyday life without even thinking of it!

Few examples may help you to be a part of virtual environmentalism:

  • Using energy efficient electrical appliances
  • Using bi-cycle whenever and wherever possible
  • A proper recycling method (separating bio-degradable and non-biodegradable trash)
  • Switch off the lights and fan or AC before leaving your room
  • Stop the tap from constantly flowing water if you are not using it
  • Try to avoid food with preservatives (anyway it is not good for your health also)

These are few of those that we always can practice in our everyday life. There are companies that already have started living for a virtual environmental society by giving rebates in environment friendly electrical appliances.

  • We can also take few more steps ahead. Don’t you think it is boring for students to sit in your class and listen to your lecture on climate change? Let them have the experience to eradicate the ill effects of global warming in their virtual world.
  • You can also let them assess their individual contribution to rising carbon dioxide levels in their virtual world by their ‘carbon footprints’.

In this manner students will learn about environment very quickly and they will try to contribute at least something good for their environment.

The outcome of the study

From this vantage point of view, we can analyse the picture from a sociological perspective where it reflects on environment and society, economy and society, public relations and society behaviourism and society to name a few. Thus, sociology deals with both macro and micro perspective to analyse the subject of environment in general and virtual environmentalism in particular. You would be able to interpret human-nature relationships, environment and various environmental movements, its causes and consequences, human needs and social consumptions, the economics of production and consumption, population growth, the concept of development and under-development, how to be ecologically responsible to name a few. We, being a part of this society and responsible citizen, must know about our environment and how to keep it balanced for our own sake. Thus, studying environmental sociology makes you understand society and environment in a critical way. Join the debates and try to solved the unresolved questions within environmental sociology.

(For further scholarly information consult Borden 2008, Dunlap & York 2008, McCright & Dunlap 2008, Tierney 2007, Goldman & Schurman 2000, Buttel 2002, Durkheim 1950 etc.)

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