Wakey wakey, are we sleepwalking through sustainability?

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

I’ve had a wake-up call. The clouds have parted, and I can now see that I’ve been living with the clouds of denial between my musings that climate change is being dealt with by others, and that everything will be okay in the end.

My realisation that my recycling, reducing my use of plastic and choosing a renewable energy provider for example, may not be enough for me to sleep with a clean conscience.

The continuing narrative regarding limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5C degrees is bothering me. How if at all are my small lifestyle changes supporting this? Am I doing enough? Or am I simply tinkering around in the periphery of a larger problem? Why should I even care? Well yes, I have children and of course I want them to live in a safe and healthy environment. But it is more than that. To quote the absolutely brilliant Naomi Klein and from her life-changing book ‘This Changes Everything (Capitalism vs the Climate), ...

“the earth is dying”.

You can’t say it any plainer than that! So, I feel it’s my duty to restore and stop the damage ‘humankind’ has and is inflicting on the earth that we graciously use as our home.

As a seeker of sustainable solutions, the stories popping up on my social feed about the world’s addiction to fossil fuels (and the $£$£’s it generates) and how it’s poisoning the climate, feels like it’s casting a long dark shadow over my efforts. Not to mention stories about the negative consequences of deforestation, fast fashion and melting icecaps. I feel like it’s my moral responsibility to learn more to try and fully understand the scale of the issue and what’s being done about it.

Though how can we break out of this seeming inertia about climate action. What can I do about it? As an introvert, the thought of being an ‘activist’, feels a bit of a grand statement. However, activism doesn’t mean having to chain myself to railings in protest outside fossil fuel HQs (however, maybe one day ;0)). To me it means being an active force in pushing for positive change at an individual, collective or system-wide capacity. To wake up and smell the ‘fair-trade’ coffee and realise that maybe, just maybe, I can use my time on this amazing planet as a small force for good. Again quoting the amazing Naomi Klein...

“…the task is to articulate not just an alternative set of policy proposals but an alternative worldview to rival the one at the heart of the ecological crisis – embedded in the interdependence rather than hyper-individualism, reciprocity rather than dominance, and cooperation rather than hierarchy”.

Whilst tinkering around the edges of the larger problems is still worthwhile, it’s our collective power that will drive momentum on a wider scale.

The conclusion of ‘This changes everything’ is that actually, the power for change is in our individual hands. So, for today’s call to action, I encourage you buy Naomi’s book (not from Amazon(!), maybe from your local bookstore, borrow from the library, or maybe even second hand), and learn for yourself why we need to take action, together, today.

Until the next time.

the eco voyager (Val - the introverted activist!)

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