That is the choice we all have. The problem is, there is no one asking the question.
This may seem like a bit of a conundrum- until we consider the facts. This week in the news we saw that The United States is considered the worst contributor to global warming - not per capita- total impact to the environment. This is a country of 330 million people doing more damage than a country with 1 billion, 330 million (China). Second worst contributor per capita? Canada.
The fact is we are oblivious to our own impact on the environment while we pay attention to such provocative and inspiring events and the recently announced television reality series, "Paris Hilton's New BFF"- a reality elimination show where debutantes are scored according to their ability to come off of scandal looking okay, and be a trend setting shopper (this is what was advertised, not a mockery of the show).
This is not to paint everyone with the brush above- but we do need to realize that we (in North America especially) live in a very egocentric society where we grossly undermine the impact we have on the world around us... just because we can only see or contemplate the 5 feet around us, doesn't mean that our reach isn't much greater than that.
Take it as a compliment: you are such an important person- such a key cog in the wheel of life- that your actions ripple through possibly the entire Earth. As such- it is crucial that in a position of such vested power; we must ask ourselves...
"Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?". That's step one- ensure someone is actually asking the question... then we get to step two- have the right answer by displaying the right actions.
This goes for our impact on the environment, the legacy we pass on to our kids- everything. Your actions do not just affect you... better make them count.