GLOBAL WARNING: In the light of the new Climate Change Accord made in Paris, I have the need to blab.
Fighting climate change is a group effort. It is a change of attitude that will save our planet. Right now, we are spoiled rotten. We take and take and take. We consume mindlessly. We consume excessively. Our planet is suffering and we are being warned: Mother Nature will act out if we don’t change our attitude. Fighting an ever warming planet involves us all taking initiative. To look at our lives consciously, to look at our actions and question ourselves, to change our habit patterns and try new ways.
Let’s ask ourselves some questions about our daily activities:
How can I change the way I get around?
Maybe drive less, carpool (sign up for ridesharing sites like one of these), take the bus, get a bike, walk, skateboard, try rollerskating? In my case, I walk instead of taking a motorbike taxi and I accept that walking “long” distances up to an hour is really not so crazy. In Melbourne, I found a pair of roller skates in my size on the side of the road and gave those a go (they’re pretty cool). And I limit my flying, traveling overland where possible.
What am I doing with my food scraps? Am I wasting food? Is food going bad in my fridge? Can I compost? What’s in my food/Do I really want to eat that? Has a rainforest been destroyed for my meat, for my dairy, for my soybeans, for the palm oil in my junk food?
Just because food is decomposable doesn’t mean it should end up in the trash. Food in the landfill releases methane into the atmosphere which is contributing to more global warming.
Where do my clothes come from? How did they get here? What chemicals were used and put in the environment to colour my clothes? What is the real price tag? Can I buy clothes second hand?
Does my work hurt the environment? Can I influence change in my workplace?
My roommate worked at an architecture firm which didn’t recycle any of the paper. They printed out stacks and stacks of paper everyday! She took it on herself to take the paper home and recycle it.
Can I cut back? Save electricity, save water? Do I really need the heater on, do I really need the AC?
Do I need the new phone or Macbook or does my old one work fine? Can I buy it second hand? How am I recycling my old electronics, batteries, broken cables? Am I just buying the product to fulfil my ego?
What are these chemicals anyway? Where do these chemicals go when I’m using them? Do I want these chemicals sprayed all over my house? Has a rainforest been harmed in the production of my toilet paper or for the oil in my shampoo? What are the real consequences? Is there an alternative to my plastic toothbrush? How many billion tampons are in the landfill anyway?
The more I travel, the more I learn the importance of questioning everything I take for granted. Most of what we do is actually not normal according to the laws of Mother Nature. It is just routine. It isn’t in harmony with our world and we are being warned. Let’s ask ourselves these questions and reposition ourselves if we want to beat climate change. Let’s try new ways.
P.S. Do you even tourist?
What will you change in your daily routine?