Reading the recent news about the Arctic ice, waves of fear swept through many an eco-conscious person. Each year we get told the situation is urgent and as campaigners there is a concern that people will suffer from crisis fatigue. We are repeatedly told of the urgency of the problem you can feel numb, and further stick your head into the sand.
For campaigners this is a disaster as we need to keep people taking those little steps to get to those big changes we need.
So what can be done? Well obviously there are a number of simple things that people can do. A quick web search will give you no end of options. Change your lightbulbs, drive less and eat less meet.
What interests me is the formation of habits and the promotion of our ideal world. Making environmental choices a habit will certainly be one of those tools needed to affect positive change. Connected with that is the focus needed on the positive. Talking about disaster and XXX and may move someone to action but for many it will shock them into inaction. What is important is to talk about all the benefits that can be gained if we make the change. Cleaner, better public transport, more jobs, better quality, able to heat your home in the winter and much more.
There are great examples of where this is already working, recycling is one. We have been conditioned to put separate waste outside our homes for collection. Over the years this action has become so normalised that even the most ardent climate change skeptic gas guzzling drives are starting to wash out their plastic bottles each week. Saying you don’t recycle gains the same expression as someone who doesn’t wear a seat belt. If people in the green movement could utilise this sort of habit forming then it will make the job a whole lot easier.
A better world is possible. We have small pockets of society which have got it right but much more is needed from the citizens of the world.
We need to make things easier and more attractive. It’s a simple message that has been said before but we forget it at our peril.
Top 5 things you can do:
- Eat less meat – try meat free Mondays
- Change your lightbulbs to energy saving bulbs
- Drive less and bike / walk more
- Repair, reuse & recycle things as much as possible
- When you do need to buy something new – choose locally sourced foods & eco versions – particularly appliances
More ideas here: http://lilmyssdoodlez.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/simple-eco-tips.html
About our guest blogger: Adam Roxby
Adam is a student nurse, environmental campaigner, Karate Black belt and blogger. Adam’s blog can be found here: http://optical-minefield.co.uk/