It is easier to treat the symptoms of the Bay pollution problem than it is to convince the majority of people to take on their share of the responsibility and do what they can at home. Cognitive Dissonance is the perception that the Bay issue is being adequately dealt with by others and does not require any additional effort on the part of the individual. “I know Bay pollution is a problem but all the Bay Clean-up groups and organizations are taking care of the problem and nothing more is required of me”.
Similarly apathy is the attitude, by some, that cleaning the Bay is not a problem they should be concerned about. It is either a problem for the next generation to solve or there is really no problem at all. It is just more ‘Fake News’. Or “The problem is too big and anything that I do will not make any difference so why should I do anything? Also, “I’m too busy and I don’t have the time.”
Inertia is the third reason that most people do not do their part to clean the Bay. “If getting a rain barrel or refraining from using pesticide and herbicide is so important why doesn’t everyone do it?” also, “I’ve always done things my way and I don’t see any reason to change.”
These beliefs are common and pervasive throughout society and figuring out ways to address these ‘social issues’ are fraught with roadblocks and obstacles and resistance. It is easier to address the symptoms of the problem, with technology and engineering, than it is to change peoples perceptions and behavior to do the right thing.
The problem is unless the run-off and pollution problem is addressed at the micro level, at the source, the results of all the investment and effort to fix the problem falls flat. 100’s of millions of dollars have been spent to solve the problem of Bay pollution and the result has been mediocre at best.
The Bay clean-up effort must move beyond a ‘Do Gooder’ perception that is financed by Government handouts and the voluntary donations of a few wealthy and other sincere and motivated individuals. A Bay clean-up business, that is promoted and supported by the entire Bay Restoration community, will create a self-sustained program that will engage the majority of citizens and communities by addressing the problem at the source. This is desirable and preferable to the current Bay Clean-up model that depends on limited government resources and the good will of a few well-meaning individuals. High tech engineered approaches do not address the social problem that is the essence of the issue.
The real solution is to make Bay Clean-up like a utility. Everyone employs home services that address the problem on their property and in return they get value for their money. The Minimalist Garden is just that enterprise providing just the right services that will add value to properties by managing water pollution at the source. We regularly spend money that results in pollution to the Bay. We certainly should be willing to spend some money to clean-up it up and reap the benefits at home.