In our Previous Blog post, we discussed the personal choices you can make to fight climate change.
You might wonder if the individual changes are enough. Your eco-anxiety is increasing and you wish to do more. Almost anyone young in our generation undergoes existential dread when they learn about the climate crisis. We are all part of the future that we constantly read about in the newspapers. Reducing our individual footprint is the least we can do, but you may wish to go a step ahead and influence people in these difficult times. While we can silently go about our day reducing our personal carbon footprint,
Here are some things you can do that can create a real ripple effect in the system:
Voting with your wallet:
This includes a variety of acts such as shopping local, going zero waste, opting out of single use disposables, choosing where you spend your money can show companies where the consumer priorities are shifting. If not for nature, these corporations will surely shift to please the consumers. This may seem insignificant but you also have feedback systems and star rating privilege to let your voice be heard as a disappointed customer. If you find yourself buying something with the expectations that it fulfills all the criteria of sustainability, you can put your concern to the makers and let your voice be heard. Feedbacks are a form of performance evaluation of any product for a company and they may eventually look into your environmental concerns to address it.
Begin exercising your feedback and customer review power, to tell brands what you need from them. If you see a brand with unsustainable practices, call it out and bring it to their notice. This can also be done politely and with proactive suggestions, so they feel encouraged. Express your distress in productive ways to ensure your voice reaches the management that makes the decisions.
Engaging in community
If you feel dissatisfied with the fact that you are the only one taking all the steps in make lifestyle changes for climate crisis, try engaging with your community! Find creative ways and outlets to make your voice heard. Attend council meetings in your apartment cooperative, Speak to the secretary of the building you live in. One example is to find services that can collectively manage the waste problem of the entire building by setting up a compost facility in the building, reducing nearly 80% or more of the waste generated by the entire building. You can also help your community set up solar panels for the apartment building to reduce dependency on fossil fuel generated electricity. Long term acts like these pushes the community members to think of more ideas to become eco-conscious as a community. It starts with a simple systematic change & before you know it, your whole community is able to reduce its carbon footprint!
Organizing a plogging activity or a clean up is another simple example to rally a group or community into something productive. Afroz shah’s simple initiative and tireless dedication to clean up mumbai Versova beach resulted in turtles coming back to lay eggs!
Voting for leaders based on Climate issues:
Have you ever tried writing to the leaders of your local district? Resolutions that make changes on the ground best come from local authorities in your area. Despite the general distrust we all have in the govt, it is fairly easy to get a message across to the city council. If your leaders realised that bringing climate solutions to the table is something the majority are asking for, they will be forced to represent the will of the people during election season. During the election, do your research on the best candidate. And vote for them no matter how unlikely their victory may seem to you. Votes can get wasted by sheer misinformation during campaign season. So make sure you educate anyone you know about why a certain candidate deserves more attention.
Getting politically active just as a citizen can be hard work, but it’s one of the most important things you can do in a democracy.
Very few people teach volunteering and getting active in the community, like Sandeep Aniruddhan. Click here to read more about how he rallies communities in his area for changing the local environment, and get in touch with him to learn more! You can also follow the blog www.pollybarks.com to learn how she activates her community in a small rural town of lafayette, Indiana in the USA.
Advocating your choices online:
If you find yourself wanting to reduce your carbon footprint by changing your day to day habits, journal it online. Putting up your efforts on display in social media could encourage viewers to think about details of their lifestyle. It’s easy reading posters and hoarding for awareness but rarely do people get a glimpse into the reality of living sustainably. The small everyday stories are a great way to get people excited about starting their own journey. When someone sees imperfections in your journey, they get comfortable with intimidating ideas like a zero-waste living, vegan diet or slow travel. This can create a large ripple effect that can multiply on social media even better than in real life.
Follow Instagram pages that advocate their own personal wins and failures to understand more about how you can start your page as well!
In the end, we are not just individuals in our homes. We are consumers who buy, employees with ideas, customers who give feedback & citizens who vote. And the best you can do to fight climate change is to use every power you hold to shake things up for a better future!