Image via @wireswildliferescue @birdmark95
Imagine for a second that society had a do-over. Knowing what we see now in our climate both environmental and political, and armed with knowledge about our politicians, industries and change in Mother Nature… what would we do differently? I’m not actually sure. Our own self-interest, and that of politicians and industries always seems to prevail over the interest of the type of environment our children’s children will grow up in.
Let’s admit it… we all love to indulge in plane travel, air-conditioned temperatures in summer, lamb on the BBQ and driving to work or the shops, alone. But at the beginning of a new year, I feel that it also needs to be the beginning of a new era – one where we take a hard look at ourselves and set a better example, especially for our children. I find it emotionally hard sometimes talking to my son, Arkie about climate change or climate emergency because I don’t want to scare him. We watched an episode on Our Planet the other night about melting icecaps and the impact it’s having (specifically on elephant seals), and it made him quite upset. I feel like this should be an adult burden, not one for kids to hold. But at the same time, I want him to be aware. So, my resolution is to set a better example of how to make a positive difference to help our planet and our future generations.
We have to believe that individually we can make a change. Clearly, with a PM that doesn’t believe in climate change and weather conditions in Australia, and all parts of the globe for that matter, being under extreme conditions, we have to believe that reducing our own carbon footprint, at home, will make a change. From little things, big things grow right? As a species we’re known to be ‘creatures of habit’ and ‘social creatures’, so small positive changes could, and can, multiply as social norms shift.
But I’m going to plead ignorance here and say that I’m not totally sure where to start. As I mentioned earlier, we all love to indulge. I know I do from time to time, it makes me feel good and I feel that I’ve ‘earned’ it – and this is where I think the hard journey should begin. Sacrifice. Maybe we could re-examine aspects of our living, from diet, shopping, leisure activities and indulgent habits.
Immediate perfection is out of the question, we are human after all, but I feel like each of us would bebetter humans if the small changes we made each month were better than the last. Then, our new habits would sink in and stick out, and hopefully these small positive changes would impact on others and eventually big things would grow.
Some might think I’m being quite ignorant and naive in this approach, but each of us hold some power – it’s just how we choose to use it. After seeing all the devastating news of late, apart from donating change, I want to make a change. So, here are some ways I plan on making small changes…
- Change to energy efficient light bulbs or solar
- Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when I’m not using them
- Wash clothes in cold water and hang dry
- If it’s yellow let it mellow
- Take shorter showers and turn the tap off while brushing our teeth
- Eat more meat-free meals
- Buy organic and local foods
- Use reusable bags
- Grow more vegetables
- Ride to school with Arkie
- Car-share with colleagues
- Switch my current car – for those who know me, know that I can’t wait for this to happen – to a hybrid/electric car
- Start conversations about climate change – to lessen my ignorance and contribute positively
- Focus on life’s simple pleasures… spend more time in nature with loved ones.
- Belonging and happiness over consuming – and if I consume, buy ethically, locally and sustainably
- Share, make, fix, upcycle, recycle, compost and re-purpose
These are all small changes and I’m sure that half of these we already do, but I feel if we all tried to change our habits and made next month better than the current, individually we can make a difference.
To help support our fellow Australians and our wildlife in this desperate time of need, I am donating a pair of custom slides and a leather bucket bag from our sisters at @solitudethelabel to one lucky winner. To be a winner just purchase a $50 ticket, there are only 50 tickets. 100% of the funds will be donated to WIRES.
Please do what you can to support our firefighters and to send a message to parliament to declare a climate emergency. Thank you to the firefighters, workers and volunteers battling in horrendous conditions – you are true heroes.
Have a safe and happy 2020