Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.George R.R. Martin
The planet is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. Climate change is not a threat to the planet. Climate change is a threat to us. To humans. To the animals (us among them) and plants, to the ecosystems that exist right now. We are already sitting within a mass extinction environment. What makes you think humans won’t be one of those species at risk? We are already suffering. Our habitat is already becoming unhospitable.
The only creatures on this earth who have the power to change this trajectory are humans. Because we created the mess. So now, it’s up to us to clean it up.
What’s required of each of us now, if we care, if we believe the science, is to become an activist. An activist is someone who takes action, rather that waiting for someone else to find the solution.
Even simple acts and choices can help make a difference. Here are some things you can do today:
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room, and cut down your power use. Look for energy-efficient devices and unplug anything not in use.
- Stop buying bottled water.
- Grow things in your garden, or on your balcony. Grow plants that insects and birds will like. Grow food you can eat. Include flowers.
- Stop mowing clover, dandelions and other flowering weeds and grasses. Bees and bugs need food. Birds eat bees and bugs. We can play our part to support the ecosystem, even in cities.
- Stop using beauty products with microbeads in them. Those tiny bits of plastic get into our waterways and then into everything, including the food-chain.
- Stop buying balloons and single-use party and festive season decorations and favors. It all ends up in landfill or in the stomachs of turtles, seabirds and other wildlife.
- Meal plan, eat less meat, buy only what you need, and cut down food waste.
- Reconsider your need to have a large family. Limiting population growth might be controversial, but it’s also essential.
- Have shorter showers. Feel free to skip one if you smell fine!
- Use your own coffee cup, your own water bottle, your own shopping bags, your own cutlery.
- Walk more, drive less.
- Protect old habitat trees – it can take up to 250 years for particular trees to grow the kinds of hollows needed to make homes for some of our endangered species.
- Don’t use single-use coffee pod machines. Even if they claim to be recyclable. The world is clogged with recyclable plastics that aren’t being recycled into anything.
- Buy less stuff. Use what you have. Don’t give useless stuff as gifts. Think of what will happen to a product after you buy it. Buy things that are made to last.
- Plant trees, and shrubs and all the stuff in between. Speak to your local experts and help re-vegetate your hometown with plants that are indigenous to that environment.
- Cut down on car use and walk or take public transport instead. Consolidate shopping into one weekly trip, rather than multiple small trips.
- Support organisations that plant trees or protect existing habitat. Give them your time, your skills, or your money.
- Participate in science studies in your area, such as monitoring bird life or water quality.
- Use loose-leaf tea instead of tea bags. Compost the used tea leaves or put them on the garden.
- Vote and Call to Action. Vote for candidates, parties and policies that support climate action. Vote with your dollar. Your consumer choices matter. Vote with your feet. Call to Action. Write letters. Send emails. Make phone calls. Call on businesses and governments to act. Don’t give up!
It might feel like an impossible situation – that you are only one person and your actions will be too insignificant to make a difference. But the truth is, all change starts somewhere, and right now the only thing you can control is your own actions, so the best place to start is with yourself. Know that even small actions can add up to create massive change. We’re all in this together. Don’t leave it up to Greta and the schoolchildren. Don’t look away. Don’t turn your back.
Much love, Nicole xx