I’ve been interested in doing what I can to help improve the world around me for the past couple of years as I’ve become more aware of the social, economic and environmental problems across the planet.
So many people either think ‘so what?’ or acknowledge that there are problems across the world but have no idea what they can do to solve it... it’s just one of those things we have to accept, right? WRONG!
Are you honestly okay with letting animals suffer a long, painful and drawn out death because you threw out a plastic bag you just didn’t need? Are you okay with the fact that there are people in the world without food whilst you’re throwing away food you bought because it was cheap but really didn’t need and didn’t get a chance to eat? Are you okay that you’ve had the opportunity to be educated and have the choice to go into a career of your choice whilst there are people in the world who aren’t allowed an educated purely because of their gender?
The fact you are reading this blog is testament to the privilege you have in life compared to others: firstly you can read and secondly you have access to a device that can access the internet which means you have electricity.
If you’re feeling a bit uneasy reading that I’m going to hazard a guess that you aren’t honestly okay with those things. If that’s the case, I’m here to tell you... you care about sustainability. Not even three years ago, I thought of sustainability as a word that encompasses only things like recycling and climate change and treehugging. Actually, it’s about everything. The United Nations have a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals that show how as a population we can strive to be better in all aspects of life.
Different aspects will strike a chord with different people. For me there are four that really hit close to home for me: Health and Wellbeing, Quality Education, Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities. That’s not to say I don’t care about the others, watching the last episode of BBC’s Blue Planet II I was close to tears and felt the frustration/anguish with myself and my fellow human beings about the way we’ve treated the planet and the impacts of our actions. The continued impact humans have had on the ocean and its inhabitants is not only cruel and damaging, but will also come back around to impact human lives. Something really needs to change.
More and more I have come to realise the huge impact that each individual can have by changing tiny things in their everyday life. I’m not saying give up the life you live now: to give up your car, stop living with electricity, become vegan and never go on holiday. Those are drastic changes, I couldn’t do all those things evidently - I am writing a blog on my laptop!
It’s about making a few tweaks to what you do normally: when in a country where tap water is fit for consumption, instead of buying a bottle of water when out and about, take a reusable water bottle and refill it. Say no to plastic straws when ordering your drinks when out and about. Buy from your local shops rather than going to a huge superstore or buying food/products imported from abroad. Cut down on your meat consumption - you don’t need it in every meal!
Little changes will make a big difference, we still have time, we just need the will.