I write in the midst of a cold snap brought on by sorely-needed rain, which has been soaking into the ground since the night before last. I detest the cold, and after an exceptionally warm winter, I feel it more than usual.
Anyone who pays attention to climate news will know that we’ve had 352 consecutive months of global temperatures that are above the 20th century average. A person who is nearly 30 years old does not know what it is like to live in a world of average temperatures.
It’s clear the pollies don’t give a damn. Abbott & Co are abandoning the climate in the face of clear scientific evidence that things are very bad, and about to get worse, which will in turn fray our already stretched social fabric.
Seeing as we can’t rely on our government, it’s up to us to mobilise ourselves. From little things, big things grow, so I thought I’d compile a list of the tiny ways in which I try to save the planet and which others might contemplate too.
Minimal effort required:
Don’t use or accept plastic bags. I take green bags grocery shopping, and carry EnviroSax in my handbags for anything else. If someone offers me a bag I decline it & joke that I’m trying to save the planet
Use Keep Cups instead of disposable coffee cups. I buy mine from Biome
Only use as much water in boiling the kettle as you need
Turn lights off that you don’t use
Turn down the heating 1 degree & put on another jumper
Follow sites such as 1MillionWomen which have advice on how to reduce waste and live sustainably
Sign a petition. A Monster Climate Petition is currently circulating to present to Parliament at the end of November. This petition is organised by a fantastic panel of women at the Victorian Women’s Trust, was inspired by women of Victoria, who in 1891 collected almost 30,000 signatures in 5 weeks requesting the vote for women. You can print out a copy of the petition and take it around to family, friends and work colleagues, then pop it in the mail.
More effort required:
Walk, ride or catch public transport instead of driving. Not only does this save on carbon emissions, it keeps one remarkably svelte. However, from watching my friends, I’ve realised that public transport is pretty much impossible with babies & toddlers
Make a noise and/or be a pest: write to your MPs, local & federal, to let them know that more needs to be done to help the environment; write posts like this one; discuss the environment with whoever will listen
Go on a march to protest. One will be held in major cities and in some towns on 30th-31st August. GetUp also often organise marches
Use a bank that invests your money ethically. Market Forces and 350.or are organising a Divestment Day on 18th October to encourage people to close their accounts in protest at the big banks’ support of fossil fuel.
Lots of effort required:
Write a novel about climate change
Chain yourself to a piece of machinery at a blockade, such as that at Leard State Forest.
While I love Queensland’s heat, I worry desperately about the disappearance of the Great Barrier Reef and what will become a strained world for future generations. I also despair at the complete want of leadership in Australia, and I know that many people around me are upset too. However, if everyone begins to take small steps in the right direction, then soon we’ll be striding into sustainable world. A friend of mine powers her car with electricity harvested from solar panels - when I saw her doing that, I realised that sustainability is within reach. And if you have any other green suggestions, you can leave them in the comments box below.