Julian Steward believed that humans shape their lives, as well as their culture, around what their environment provides them. I believe, that in present day, that is absolutely true. Since the industrial revolution began, we began living unsustainably. We take far more from our Earth than the Earth can regenerate. We are stripping our planet of it’s natural resources and polluting it with toxic fumes as well as toxic waste. Our groundwater is polluted, leaving the runoff to enter our oceans, further destroying their ecosystem. We have slowly destroyed everything we lay our hands on. However, in this time of destruction and pollution, people are trying to implement new ideas to work with their environment; well, what’s left of their environment. We are changing the ways we live, because our environment is taking a turn for the worst.
Arizona is a state that is extremely hot and doesn’t get a lot of rain. Due to the increasing temperatures throughout the year due to climate change, Arizona is facing even higher temperatures and an increase in the lack of rain. This lack of rain calls for residential water restrictions. Therefore, many residents have converted their yards in a way that compensates for both heat and the lack of rain. This conversion is known as xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is a form of landscaping where extra irrigation is not needed. The plants are native to their ecosystem and are adapted to the hot, dry conditions. This adaptation saves water and money.
Another adaption technique humankind has invented due to an increase in temperatures is as simple as a white road. Asphalt get extremely hot in the summer. Cities, such as Los Angeles, California, have been experiencing increasing temperatures because of the amount of dark roadways and congested areas. Therefore, they have begun to paint their road ways white to cut down on urban warming. Just making the roads white alone provided drastic results. Some places noticed differences as high as about thirty degrees. This just goes to show that we are coming up with ways to adapt to our environment.
One last example I’m going to share, is something I personally use everyday. With the growing plastic problem in our world today, it is important to cut down on your amount of plastic waste. A company called Lush Cosmetics has created a shampoo, conditioner, lotion as well as other items that don’t require a plastic bottle. I constantly found myself throwing bottle after bottle of shampoo and conditioner away. Then I found that I could buy this item that didn’t require a bottle and it worked just as well. They contain all natural, vegan ingredients that you can pronounce (ones that don’t cause cancer, like you find in a lot of products today). They also don’t test on animals, which is nice because I do not enjoy animal suffering and tears in my products….Some of the options even allow you to cut off the size piece you want as if it’s a piece of food. The price will then depend upon the weight. They also provide an option that does have a bottle as well, however, you return the bottles to the store and they reuse them. So there’s no need to discard the bottles. Companies are even promoting products that are adapting to our changing environments.
Julian Steward made an interesting point that people’s environments shape the ways they form their ways of life and their culture. I feel, that today this is absolutely true. Our environment has taken a turn for the worst. We are trying to find ways to lessen our footprint as well as adapt and mend our environment.