climate change blog - the soulful word

Climate change protests – how not to be a dick on social media

We’re running out of time.

Yet each time there’s a protest by Extinction Rebellion, thousands of people take to social media to leave negative comments, criticise each protestor’s lifestyle and, in many cases, deliberately write nasty, abusive words that make the rest of us scream on the inside with utter despair.

If you’re one of those commenters, you’re missing the point.

Completely.

The whole idea of any protest is to raise awareness and create change.

And in order to do that, protests must disrupt either governments, businesses or the public.

David Attenborough wouldn’t have created mass awareness about global warming and environmental issues without the help of the BBC and a huge team of scientists and digital crew.

Greenpeace wouldn’t have created mass awareness of the atrocities of whaling without their demonstrations back in the 1980s.

Animal rights groups wouldn’t have created mass awareness of testing on animals and barbaric fur farms without breaking in and releasing thousands of beagles, mink and rabbits.

While not every one of us desires to be (or even needs to be) a front line activist, these protests, events and online campaigns do motivate us – as both individuals and large corporations – to make changes.

As a vegetarian teenager back in the 80s, I was deeply saddened to find out about animal testing and instantly made the switch to The Body Shop’s products – a company at the forefront of the cruelty-free movement thirty years ago.

Extinction Rebellion are no different. They’re simply trying to make us aware of a global issue that will, in a very short period of time, affect every single one of us alive.

Climate change.

Of course, being stuck in traffic or late for work is an inconvenience, but it’s a tiny drop in the ocean to how life might be if we run out of food and water.

  • Fancy living in a war zone or an overpopulated town with mass looting?
  • Or how about a country with mass inflation where a loaf of bread costs £100?
  • Or losing your home to rising sea levels and having to flee inland as a refugee?

No. Me neither.

refugee crisis and climate change - the soulful word
Photo credit @unsplash

And remember… if you’re able to read this on a smartphone from the luxury of your own home on a comfy sofa with a glass of wine, you’re one of the privileged few.

For now anyway.

Each person who takes part in a protest has their own reasons for doing so. We can’t all take part, just as we aren’t all willing to give up our cars or stop eating meat.

So herein lies the issue.

We’ve become an incredibly intolerant society jumping on the bandwagon and leaving vitriolic comments on social media posts that are simply highlighting events designed to help humanity as a whole.

I’ve read so many comments today where people feel they have the right to suggest that each protestor probably still uses a gas-guzzling 4×4 vehicle or takes a plane on holiday each year.

This kind of attitude implies that only the ‘purest’ of citizens have a right to protest for change.

How ridiculously twisted is that?

None of us are perfect.

And that’s ok.

Because in terms of climate change, that would mean we’d all have to live off grid, grow our own food, walk everywhere and eschew computers and wifi.

Hey, we’d even have to all live off lentil soup (because yes, someone did actually throw that one into a Facebook comments thread today!).

Assuming we could even harvest that many lentils from our small piece of land that is.

I digress.

The point is, the bullying and trolling on social media is disgusting and disgraceful.

And it has to stop.

If you have time to make negative comments about climate change issues when other people are actually trying to help you to live a better life in the future, then you really need to find a new hobby to keep you busy.

Devil, idle hands. Just sayin’.

Currently, we all have a choice.

We can choose to eat less meat, take part in beach cleans, use a bike instead of a car or refuse to buy items in plastic.

We can choose to write blogs, make videos, start eco-friendly companies or speak in schools about the issues currently facing planet Earth.

Many choose to actively take part in protests, even if it means risking arrest or the abuse of those who disagree.

In the western world we’re lucky to live in a democracy where free speech is allowed. Not everyone has that choice to speak up for what they believe in.

So before you leave another ill-informed, abusive or even sarcastic comment, ask yourself this:

Am I contributing to this discussion in a way that is positive, polite and constructive?

Remember that it’s easy to pick on minority groups and those whose beliefs differ from ours.

It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and fire off loaded words.

But that doesn’t make it right.

Will you do the right thing today?

climate change stand together - the soulful word
Photo credit @unsplash

Fancy reading more about environmental issues? You might like this blog ‘The True Cost of Fast Fashion’.

7 Simple Steps YOU can take TODAY to ensure life on planet Earth thrives beyond 2030

I am soooo happy to see that yesterday’s blog about meal prepping without plastic packaging was such a big hit with my audience! It hit the same level as The True Cost of Fast Fashion and Busyness v. Stillness which tells me one AMAZING thing about you….

That you’re looking for ways to help the environment, you’re compassionate and you’re craving ways to find inner peace in a crazy, messed-up world.

And if you’re taking the time to read blogs like this (thank you so much from the bottom of my heart) then chances are, you’re looking for ways to take action!

This makes me feel an incredible wave of excitement and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.

The more of us who are making small, daily changes really are the ones who will change the world; reversing climate change and environmental damage and balancing wealth between nations so no-one dies of starvation while others are throwing billions of tonnes of food away each year. (Because that’s the naked truth right now.)

I’ve been lucky enough to make changes slowly and gradually, which as we all know is generally the way to make new lifestyle habits stick.

But right now we don’t have that luxury.

Recent reports state we may have as little as twelve years to reverse some of the damage to our planet to allow nature to replenish and repopulate itself.

Twelve years.

Scary right?

So, what can you do to be part of the change?

  • Read, listen, watch, learn. Research the facts, follow people across social media who are taking action, making a difference and sharing their knowledge and love with the world.
  • Learnt something new? Found a great article? Watched a good documentary? SHARE IT! It only takes a click or two on social media and instantly it falls into the laps of hundreds of people. Creating a ripple effect is easy.
  • Stop buying food produce wrapped in plastic. Sure, the avocados may not be as ripe, but once you get into the habit of doing it every few days, soon you’ll find a routine where you always have ripe avocados at home!
  • Ditto for pre-chopped vegetables and fruit in plastic. Yes, it’s a time saver but making time to prepare and cook your own meals from scratch will help you find that inner peace you’ve been craving. It teaches patience and allows us quiet time in the kitchen to reconnect to our food.
  • Think before you buy, anything! Clothes, shoes, technology, take-out food, toys, make-up and toiletries…. Stop and consider (a) if you really need this item, (b) if this item brings you joy and makes you feel really, truly happy on the inside (rather than simply keeping up with the Jones’s or following a trend), (c) how you might dispose of it (or its packaging) when you no longer have a use for it, and (d) by buying this item, are you taking away from another dream? I.e. by spending money here and now on this item, will it stop you achieving another goal (like buying a house, travelling, saving for retirement, fixing the house, seeing the dentist etc.).
  • Following on from the above point, is there a way you can buy or acquire a pre-loved version of this item? Clothes and household items are easily available second-hand and often will be more unique and save you money. (Win-win for achieving those financial dreams!)
  • Join in with a community project. We’re all passionate about different things and some will tug at your heart more than others. Follow your heart and make a difference in your community. Beach clean ups, cooking for a homeless charity, supporting a screening of a documentary about refugees, giving your time as a volunteer…. or even starting up your own local project or awareness campaign. The choices are endless. But stop sitting around talking about it and just do it!

When you take consistent action on these seven steps, then not only will you feel more contentment and peace in your life, but you’ll have helped others and you’ll know that, even when the results are not yet visible, you’ll have made more than a dent in planet Earth’s recovery.

If we all come together to make a difference, collectively we can make our grandchildren’s future a far more exciting prospect.

Are you with me?

Lorraine xx

Climate change: Stop playing small

Chances are you’ve seen many news reports and read articles about climate change and the plastic problem in our oceans.
 
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably been reducing your use of single use plastic, gone back to buying fresh produce in paper or reusable cloth bags and cut down your intake of meat and dairy over the last few months (or even years).
 
BUT….
 
I feel like we’ve been approaching this in the same way we try to lose weight…
 
We don’t really want to change our lifestyles THAT much and how much is that occasional chocolate cupcake really going to harm our progress anyway?
 
In the same way as few of us hit our weight loss goals very easily, it’s a major concern that we aren’t going to hit these targets for reducing pollution, plastic and environmental damage.
 

I feel it’s time that we stopped playing small.

 
It’s time to dig deep, make uncomfortable changes and really begin to make the changes we wish to see in the world.
 

It all starts with us.

 
Yes, of course we want manufacturers to stop making plastic BUT first there has to be less demand for said plastic!
 
Food shopping in the UK is almost easy in comparison to the amount of plastic that infiltrates every other area of our modern, spoilt, luxurious western lives.
 
I’m afraid I don’t have all the answers but I can tell you this with absolute certainty…
 

It starts with YOU.

Here are my three tips to motivate you to pull up your big girl pants and make a difference in the world TODAY:
 
  • Increase your AWARENESS: Watch documentaries, read books, listen to podcasts and interviews. Spend more time listening to knowledgeable people.
 
  • Boost your LEARNING: As your awareness and knowledge grows, start to share it with others. Set a good example to your kids, begin initiatives in the office, write a blog, give a talk, have conversations and teach others all you’ve learnt. 
 
  • ADAPT your lifestyle: No, it’s not easy at first. Change is inherently difficult but remember WHY you’re doing this: For the future of all beings on this planet. This isn’t about some future date thousands of years away, this is about our generation right NOW. In 12 years (or perhaps less) we could damage our planet beyond repair and be at the mercy of massive natural disasters leading to mass migration and widespread destruction.
  • Keep repeating this cycle. Never stop learning, growing and raising your awareness of the issues in your community, your country and your planet.

 

Unlike Dr Who who has a space ship to travel through time and space to find a new home, we only have planet Earth.

Let’s treat our Mother Earth, and all beings on it, with the love and respect it deserves.

Lorraine xx

 

Photo credit: Dikaseva on Unsplash