Climate Change – what can I do?

There’s an elephant in the room. Our climate is not just changing but it’s breaking down and people don’t want to talk about it.

I want to talk solutions.

Stuff we can do. Stuff that makes a difference.

I sometimes wrestle with black and white thinking. If I can’t do the whole climate change life thing perfectly, then why bother at all? But it hurts to bury my head in the sand because the truth is I really do care about it. I always cared about it. I am nature lover and I don’t like the cruelty, greed, littering, polluting and so on that comprises human disrespect of the planet.

So I’m going to look at it as parts of a jigsaw.

If I can’t get it perfect today with my carbon footprint, what one thing can I do?

I like to think of sowing seeds. Ask the question (see my other blog called ‘Ask the Right Question’) ‘what is one thing I can do today to help towards the conservation of planet earth?’

Maybe it’s to shop in a more eco-friendly shop, or choose less plastic and more eco-friendly products in the shops I do use. As a mother of three, I’m well aware that some of the eco-friendly choices are more expensive. But actually, some of them are cheaper.

There are a lot of people out there asking the same question so it’s worth seeking them out so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. After a quick search on Facebook of climate change followed by the name of the area I live in I realised there were lots of initiatives happening close by that I didn’t even know about.

This month’s copy of National Geographic is full of inexpensive home remedies we can use that do less harm to the environment, from beauty products to homemade laundry soap.

Grow it yourself

To reduce plastic and the carbon used to transport foods a ridiculous distance, grow your own. If you have a garden or access to an allotment there is a lot you can grow yourself. Sure, the carrots might not take off this year and you will learn as you go along, but don’t underestimate the ripple effect this has. Other people hear about it, taste your homegrown treats, and perhaps want to do the same. I love this book on the power of growing your own by artist and grower Lisa Fingleton. 

We need to make the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies.

Many of us are reliant on fossil fuels to heat and power our homes. It’s just not feasible to change everything in one day, so what can I do today? Look up ways of changing to more renewable energy, thinking of long-term goals as well as short ones. Wear extra clothes on cooler days to reduce the amount of home heating needed.

Many people have started out local groups and have put them up on social media to help share ideas on what we can do to help in both small and big ways.

What is Ecocide and what can I do about it?

Serious damage to, or destruction of, the natural world and the Earth’s systems. Making the people who commission it – such as chief executives and government ministers – criminally liable for the harm they do to others while creating a legal duty of care for life on Earth. Click here to sign the petition and here to give as little as a €5 once off donation and become an Earth Protector to stop ecocide and change the law.

It is said that just a hundred companies are responsible for almost three-quarters of global emissions, and so doesn’t that mean that the government should just come along and sort it all out? The sad news is, they haven’t been doing. Things are looking up in some ways though. Just a few days ago in Ireland, a Climate Emergency was declared, as well as in the UK and other countries. The more the general public demands clean energy, zero plastic and so on the more they have to listen to us and do something. It all filters down.

You are powerful. Your voice matters.

You don’t need to be Greta Thunberg or Sir David Attenborough to make a difference. Talk about it. Share stuff on social media (all shares of this blog much appreciated too btw). Choose to buy from companies that respect the environment. Leave the ones that don’t. Tell them why. Write to or comment on social media why you don’t want to buy from them.

Ask or write to your local politicians. They are anxious to please, especially around election time and your questions may make a difference. Encourage others to do the same.

Use your talents

If you love photography, why not volunteer to take some photos at an eco-friendly event you can attend? Love writing? Write about it, share it. Love speaking, speak about it. Love gardening? Share your gift with others and show them what to plant and how to help the bees, plant more trees or grow your own. Good at organising people? Help to organise an event near you or start your own. Focus on your strengths and how these could be of service if you have any spare time to give.

Who to look up/follow on social media

These lists are far from exhaustive and apologies for the many I have missed: Polly Higgins (RIP, 2019, but her movement goes on and the resources on her page are invaluable); Greta Thunberg; Greenpeace; Climate Camp; Franny Armstrong; Eric Pooley; Bill McKibben and many more. Even by just liking and sharing someone else’s efforts, you are helping the message get more reach and keeping climate breakdown top of mind.

Hashtags to use/follow: #ecocide #pollyhiggins #gretathunberg #climatechange #climateaction #climate #climatebreakdown #globalwarming #ecologicalbreakdown #arctic #nature #environment – many of the Instagram-only ones are prefixed with ‘insta,’ e.g. #instaclimatechange

Think grass roots action.

“You can argue all day about whether one person not using straws or going vegan makes a global difference. The point is the mindset. We need to change our thinking from this idea that the earth is a bottomless pit of resources and start acting like what we do matters. Changing the philosophy of cultures and societies starts with individuals changing their own hearts and minds. That’s the importance of grassroots action. It’s not that my composting will empty landfills of food waste, but my changed mind and heart may influence others. And that could spread and change the world.” – Olga Evans

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