As we both try here at onthedoorstep to be more conscious of our impact on the world, I have encountered some tricky contradictions in ours, and our generations, plight.
A friend recently had text at 4am to declare she was so terrified about the effects of climate change that we should all quit our jobs and join Greta Thunberg to fight for a future that we wont otherwise have. At 4am I was not especially receptive to this, nor for that matter, any other radical idea on a group chat that was set up to organise a trip to Amsterdam. The same friend had carried around a dirty plastic box after a picnic lunch to ensure she could reuse it, yet drove the short distance to the park we ate said picnic. On a larger scale, the current plastic free movement neglects to highlight the impact of deforestation when more paper bags are used, or indeed how many pandas are losing their homes when we buy a bamboo toothbrush.
We are both keen travellers and live overseas from family, friends and home. This inevitably means that accessing our small island homeland involves a flight. Add to this the various European trips we both thoroughly enjoy, the car journeys we indulge in to escape the city for climbing, hiking or biking weekends and suddenly our carbon footprint seems quite negligible. Prior to my move abroad I am embarrassed to say that this had not really occurred to me as the media and my mind were occupied with other prominent issues.
So how do we conquer these hefty contradictions?
- Read, research and read more. Since leaving university my academic reading has gone through the roof. I love soaking up as much information on these issues from as many sources as I can get my hands on. The more informed we are generally about these issues, the more I believe that e can fight back. I’ll have Greta on my summer reading list.
- Adapt. The thought is often worse than the action itself but nonetheless, some of the extreme changes rewired to prevent global warming, reduce ocean pollution and deforestation involve radical changes to our lives as we know them now. I see it as a two stage process: mentally accepting and processing, followed by action.
- Spread the word. Found a great veggie recipe? A new reusable bottle? Loving the cycle in to work instead of drive? Tell your mates! The biggest changes are the smallest ones. Many small changes lead to big
Do you find similar contradictions? Have you found any great ways to tackle the issues faced here? Let us know!
Onthedoorstep with Zo