Adopting climate friendly behaviour is as individual as our consumption. Decide together with your young ones where it makes sense for you to start – giving up on your next flight, reducing meat consumption, driving less, turning down the heating or aircon, not buying that new …………
Once you’ve settled into that behaviour, take the next step, and then the next. Living sustainably is a habit that can be developed, just as we developed our habit of consumption.
The voice of our consumption addiction is constantly muttering in our ear that our individual actions don’t matter. It undermines our good intentions by questioning why we should act when nobody else is. Don’t listen – individual action does matter. American presidents know it – Nixon and Carter told Americans in the 1970s to reduce their oil consumption, Bush told Americans in 2003 to go shopping and Trump understood the value of just 11,780 individual votes in 2019. Corona rewarded our reduced consumption with blue skies and bird song. As Desmond Tutu said, “The sea is made up of drops of water. What you do is of significance.”
But regardless of the extent to which we believe in the power of our individual action, taking action is a powerful antidote to the fears of our children.
Consume less to leave more for them
It is easy to become paralysed by the amount of information online about how to reduce your footprint. But this easily becomes a convenient excuse to maintain our unsustainable habits. It’s not really complicated – just start to consume less. Then take the next step, and the next. Good places to start include:
- shift towards a plant-based diet – replace meat & dairy
- holiday without flying
- keep, enjoy and repair the current models of your phone, skis, bike, sports clothes, car …. the list is endless.
- save energy – get used to cooler and warmer temperatures at home, avoid your car when possible.
- think twice – and once again – before you buy something. Is it more important than your young person’s future?
- if you can afford it, install clean energy systems and green energy machines at home – and then use them less.
Vote for a healthy planet
That our vote counts is a corner stone of western democracy.
Voting for real emission reductions and climate action amplifies the impact of your individual changes in behaviour.
And you can build on the power of your vote even further by activating for climate change – tell your family and friends about what behaviours you’ve adopted, join a group or a political party – or donate if you’re short on time.