A huge number of people are going on climate strike today. But for those of us who freelance, what can we do? We can, of course, support those striking in many ways. We can tweet, retweet, send a text, send a letter, share a status, read a book, thank someone who has made a contribution against the closing walls of climate change…or we can join them.
If you don’t accept climate change is real, a perspectival viewpoint shouldn’t stop you supporting those who are striking to protest. From experience, most climate change deniers I have met, do not hold a grudge against us. If anything, the utmost respect is given. Much of this comes from an appreciation to slow the use of plastics, aversion to littering and treating the environment with respect as principled and wise.
Today, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent released a report titled ‘The cost of doing nothing’. It details that costs will balloon to $20 billion per year by 2050, and humanitarian needs and efforts will dramatically and undoubtedly increase the amount of suffering endured by people affected by climate change. Largely in developing nations.
If you cannot strike today, there are a few things you can do, but there are some things you are already doing which you can take to the next level.
It is no secret that to win an election, being popular and on the people’s side counts. People are influenced by what they feel is right and just, and when it comes to the climate, science is on our side.
During a talk I attended on environmental campaigning, the lecturer told of a speech she listened to by Jeremy Corbyn, where he stated, the best way you can change your local representative’s mind is by writing to them to show your concern of issues you’re passionate about. MPs need votes, and to get them, they need to weigh concern of the greatest need for their local constituency, regardless of whether it goes against their beliefs. You can change their mind or plant the seed to make them reconsider their views.
Write a letter to supermarkets asking them to reduce the amount of plastic they utilise. The Co-Op replaced plastic bags with compostable carriers. The National Trust began wrapping their membership magazines in the same. But other supermarket giants simply haven’t done enough. They rely on customers to reuse carrier(s) or buy cotton tote bags which is a bad idea.
Taking time to reconsider plastic use in your home can elevate strides to rewiring your brain in making sensible choices to reduce waste. As I said, you cannot change someone’s mind, but you can certainly plant a seed that will. And if you can do this to yourself regularly for small changes, you will undoutedly take giant steps in the future.
Buy a reusable cup. We’ve talked about this before, and the benefits of buying a collapsible model make it easier to carry it around with you. Go out! Take the time to buy one. Taking a cup from home into a coffee bar may seem crazy, but the more embarrassing choices you expose yourself to, the more you make consciously better decisions to be better to our world.
There are so many simple and easy things we can all do that require no explanation at all. Such as –
- Walking to the shops instead of driving
- Riding a bike to work
- Cease drinking fizzy drinks
- Stop using plastic bags and support companies that use alternatives
- Limit your use of Amazon products and services
- Pledge to start a majority pescatarian or vegetable-based diet and eliminate red meat products
- Switch to sustainable energy suppliers
- Unplug electricity when you can. Especially when you leave your home for the day
- If you can travel abroad by train instead of plane, do it.
- When at home, reuse cups instead of new ones
- Flush the toilet less
- Buy in store, instead of online
- Stop shopping in fast fashion outlets
- Make your coffee at home
- Start composting
- Learn to garden and create a wild grass patch
- Talk about climate change to a stranger, friend or colleague
- Read about climate change
- Probe your recycling company to see if they can do more. If not, write a letter to your local council to change your contractor
- Pick up litter in your local park, walking trail or neighbourhood
- Make meal plans to prevent food waste
- Start a local environmental group
Today is not just about picket signs. Today is a collective effort to inspire others to make a change and do away with old habits to build clarity around credences and to solidify them into action. Small steps to victory count.