This is my eldest. I don’t normally share photos of my kids here, but today I’m really proud to have had a bit of a hand in raising this one and his values. Yesterday he took a banner and went out with his peers to add his voice to the 100s of thousands around the globe. We had students from our own school going and our end of day meeting was on the topic of the climate and what can be done and some of my thoughts on here today come from mulling through those of one of our senior members of staff, a scientist and farmer.
Yesterday’s strike proved just what an impact the climate is having on the public, but it’s not just about taking a banner to the streets, it is about the small changes we need to make to our own lives. Yes, voices need to be heard and clearly through peaceful protest and worldwide campaigns like Greta Thunberg’s, international and national governmental policies need to be pressurised to change. BUT it is the things we do in our everyday life that will also make a massive difference collectively to our CO2 emissions.
I am tired of the view that ‘there’s nothing I can do’, or ‘kids are wasting their valuable education being out of school’. I am tired of the diatribe I read against Greta Thunberg. This sums a lot of it up for me. Wanting to do something to repair the damage WE have caused to our planet is not about ‘being a hippy’, ‘being vegetarian or vegan’, ‘being a student’, ‘being a liberal or leftie’, ‘not shaving your armpits or legs’, ‘being on any band wagon’ or ‘being rich’ or any other ridiculous cliche.
It’s actually about YOU. Ordinary (or rather, extra-ordinary) you and the life style choices you make.
Reuse and repurpose.
Make your own.
Give fewer ‘things’ and more of a crap.
Support local farmers where you can and buy seasonally.
Lobby your MP for changes in your local area, better bus services, cycle routes, water refill stations in town, lower rent for market stall holders etc. Send your plastic back to the supermarket with a letter explaining why. Carry a reusable bag/bottle/cup/straw.
If you have to fly, offset your flight miles here CO2 offset. Can you video call instead if it’s business? If you’re buying a new car, can you get electric or hybrid? If you eat meat, buy it locally, reduce the flight miles of getting your lamb from New Zealand (unless you live in New Zealand of course!). Can you get on that rusty bike at the back of the garage and not only reduce your car use, but get fit too (I’m working on this one!), can you leave an area of your lawn unmown not only for wild life, but actually longer grass will absorb more of the atmosphere’s Co2!
Most of this is easy stuff you can do from the comfort of your armchair whilst swearing at all the stupid leftie kids and students who are wasting their time striking or the ‘damn hippies’ who make you feel uncomfortable because, maybe, deep down, you know they’re right!
C’mon. Get on with it, it does take a little bit of effort. Put your money where your mouth is, plant some trees (or donate to a charity that will), don’t mow all your lawn, don’t ‘buy a new seasonal wardrobe’ but have a swap with mates (if you have to buy, use an app like ‘Good on you’ that will tell you how ethical the company is you’re buying from, take up beekeeping, support a charity who is doing something about this you don’t even have to tell anyone you’re involved !
2030 isn’t that far off. It was 12 years when Greta set out on her school strikes a year ago, until irrevocable damage. This lad will be just into his 30s by then. His whole future ahead…I remember that excitement. I had him! I desperately hope he and you have a future worth being excited about!