As the news rolls in tonight about Donald Trump taking the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement I’ve felt heavy-hearted, and (quite rightly so) witnessed a lot of shock, sadness and anger from people reacting to the news on Twitter. In times like this it’s easy to feel despondent, but this is a challenge we all can rise up against.
You might be wondering what you can do to mitigate the impacts of the leader of the free world’s reckless and short-sighted decisions, but it’s a simple one:
Make Your Actions Count
Everything you do has an impact: make it count. Make small changes in your live and encourage others to do the same.
- According to the National Resource Defense Council, if every family in the United States replaced just one roll of toilet paper with 100% recycled toilet paper, that could save 423,900 trees. That’s just one toilet roll – imagine the savings if everyone made the switch on a permanent basis.
- According to Earth Day if everyone in the United States didn’t eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road. Again, that’s just one day a week.
- According to Strawless Ocean the United States gets through 500 million plastic drinking straws a day. By simply refusing a straw, or carrying your own reusable straw, think of the plastic that could be avoided.
These are small changes – using recycled toilet paper, not eating meat or cheese one day a week and refusing a plastic straw but look at the potential impacts. Huge. Just because changes aren’t coming from the top (i.e. Donald Trump), doesn’t mean we can’t make positive environmental changes and take matters into our own hands. As one of my friends so eloquently put it “we can all carry out small but significant acts of defiance against the orange man“.
The more people that make positive environmental changes (even if it’s just as small as replacing your loo roll for a recycled brand), and the more that people talk about the changes they’ve made, the more mainstream these become. So share with your friends on social media about your cycle to work, your reusable water bottle, your solar panels, your homemade makes, your grow your own endeavours, your Meat Free Monday makes, your guerrilla gardening efforts. Basically, anything that you’re doing – start talking about it.
Some people see these kind of things as a bit out there because they aren’t talked about – but let’s make carbon saving mainstream and encourage more and more people to save carbon.
If that doesn’t seem enough for you, remember that small steps quite often lead to bigger steps. Taking part in Meat Free Monday for example, might be just the trigger for someone to make the leap to full time vegetarianism or veganism. Cycling to work one day a week could lead to someone being a full time bike commuter. The possibilities are endless.
Just because Trump isn’t concerned about climate change doesn’t mean we all should bury our heads in the sand: let’s rebel and take collective action in any small way we can. Between us we can make our planet great again – and green, not orange!