Individual Action on Climate Change

Good morning/afternoon, today I will be writing about what you can do to take a stance against climate change.

Climate change isn’t a topic I’ve discussed on this blog before. I have never been one to publicly discuss climate change, but I, like many others have felt called to action as a result of recent events. For those of you who feel the need to take a stance on climate change I have included a list of things you can do. Enjoy the post.

Climate change is a phrase used to describe the ongoing destruction of our natural environment and the consequences presented as a result of this.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

Why are some people reluctant to act?

Firstly I would like to discuss the “bigness trap”. The bigness trap is an expression used to describe the feeling of “it (the problem) is too big for me to do anything.” and I feel as though the bigness trap is quite often something that people find themselves tangled up in.

The biggest problem with “the bigness trap” is that it stops people fro trying before they even have the chance to get going. For those people who struggle with this I would simply advise you to remember anything is better than nothing.

Another thing that I believe stops people from taking action, is the idea that “it’s someone else’s problem.”

For example in Australia there has been a lot of pressure on our government to address climate change, get rid of the coal industry, lower green house emissions and ultimately start thinking in a more innovative and sustainable way. Although pressuring leaders is good we need to combine that with individual action. If we want to see change we can’t continuously think “well it’s the prime ministers job to fix it.” Its not. It is our job as residents of planet Earth.

A point worthy of mention here is that I believe that there is an established connection between the bigness trap and the idea of pointing the finger. Many people who feel the need to put the pressure on somebody else would probably be doing that as a result of feeling helpless.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

When you think about it if you felt as though you couldn’t make a difference, you would subsequently, be looking at others who you thought could make a difference. These “others” come in many forms: councils, governments, activists etc. Therefore I do think that there is (like many things) a connection to mindset, and when I say mindset I don’t just necessarily mean on world problems, but essentially i’m also talking about the way we regard themselves.

Having a sense of confidence and an open mind will leave you with a burning desire to know: how could I create change? And although climate change is an intricate and complex predicament sometimes the best thing you can do is change your own habits. You don’t need to be an author, scholar, activist etc to be able to create change. Thats the truth. There is no special personality type that you need to be able to take action.

When you go to ask yourself “why isn’t the president, prime minister etc taking action?” Switch it to a moment of self – reflection: what am I doing? What is good about what I am doing currently? How can I improve on that? It’s all good to be applying pressure to leaders, but its when that becomes an excuse, a way out, that it becomes a problem.

Thirdly I would also like to draw attention to the idea of being afraid.

Climate change is scary. I am scared. Some people are afraid of climate change itself and honestly, fair enough. But rather than putting the truth aside we need it to stimulate you into acting.

Photo from: @Li-anlimonunsplash

Aside from that there is also the portion who are afraid of just genuine change. Like I have mentioned in previous posts people are afraid of what change means for them. I will again go back to the example of Australia and the coal industry, if you were a coal miner who could barely afford a house, a bed, and 3 small meals a day the last thing you’d want is for your job to be taken away. Therefore I would think that you would be reluctant to start attending protests on ridding Australia of the coal industry. Think about it on an even bigger scale, one of Australia’s largest trading exports is coal, so what happens when no one will buy our coal or we stop producing it? We would need to be able to find another way to make money and keep the economy going, otherwise it would be bad news for us Australians. All of this happens and it all influences individual decisions. Even on a really small scale, someone may not want to stop buying chocolate containing palm oil just because they like it, even though they know that its horrible for the environment.

How do we overcome these obstacles

Humans are emotional creatures and we make a lot of our decisions based off of our emotions. In fact it has been proven that up to 90% of our decisions are formed from our emotions not logic. So to overcome this fear of change we need to create a safety net. We need innovative ideas, new people and thoughts to help us. We need to be able to have a job ready for that coal miner after we’ve closed the coal mines. We need a new export to replace coal after we’ve ridded ourselves of the coal industry, and although it may sound insignificant we need a new kind of sustainable cooking oil to put in our chocolate etc.

I also think that in order to call these people who are afraid into action that we really need to try and understand what it is like for them. We need to approach them with compassion and empathy. So instead of telling them that they’re being unreasonable, and illogical we need to approach this with an attitude of compassion.

Over the past year I have come to realise that you will rarely ever change a persons mind by yelling at them.

Photo from: @marcusspiskeonunsplash

So as you can tell climate change isn’t exactly a question, answer problem. It is a global problem that requires global action, not just from the world leaders but from you. It requires individuals such as us to create change.

So what can you do? Here are some ways to take individual action within your own home.

Indivual Actions

  • Turning off taps when you’re not using them

This could mean turning the tap off whilst you’re brushing you’re teeth or making sure there is no water trickling from the tap before exiting the room.

  • Taking 5 minute showers

Simple but effective. Be conscious of your water usage and how much you’re wasting.

  • Air dry your clothes

Air drying your clothes is a great way to save electricity, and help our environment.

  • Only taking what you need

Whether it been a large frappe at McDonalds or buying the new iPhone when your current one is completely fine, buying things we don’t need isn’t helping anyone. Certainly not the environment.

  • Natural light

If you have windows in your room turn the lights off and open your blinds! Not only does the natural light look better it is also environment friendly.

  • Drive less

If you can afford it, driving less is a good way to help our climate. If the shops are close see if you can walk next time!

  • Being an informed consumer

Knowing what’s in the stuff you’re buying and boycotting things that are unsustainable and/or causing harm to the environment is one of the best things you can do!

  • Reusable alternatives

Whether its a reusable coffee mug, drink bottle, bag, straw, fork, plate etc limiting the amount of waste you produce is an awesome way to take individual action.

That’s my list of individual actions you can take to make a stand against the climate crisis. A lot of these are very textbook ways to take action but they are effective none the less.

Also I wanted to mention an app that I’ve been using called A World. A World is an app owned by the United Nations that encourages individual action against climate change, and provides you with the tools to do so!

Thats it for today! I hope you enjoyed todays post. As always please take some time to reflect on this post and the things I have said. I hope this post has inspired you to take action, and showed you that you don’t have to fit a special mould to help save the planet! If you enjoyed this post and wish to see more articles such as this one please consider dropping a follow. Have an amazing day!

Published by Sophie

My name’s Sophie, and I am an aspiring humanitarian lawyer and an academia junkie! I have a particular interest in human rights, psychology and self-development. I hope you enjoy your time here!

3 thoughts on “Individual Action on Climate Change

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