Author: Nicole Lutze
Each and every one of us has the power to help the planet, the people and the animals who inhabit it. While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of changing the world, it’s not difficult to become a changemaker and simultaneously influence others.
For those who want to start, the hardest place is usually deciding where to begin. Often we care about many issues: climate change, animal rights and social justice. So where does one start?
Small things matter:
The easiest way to start changing your life and the world you live in, is to start small. Small steps are easy to stick to, can become catalysts for larger actions and also help influence those around you. Founder of 1 Million Women, Natalie Isaacs, started her eco-journey by reducing her home power bill. This empowering and motivating act encouraged her to continue making changes in her home, and eventually begin 1 Million Women.
Other small-step ideas with significant impact include reducing home waste, subscribing to a local farmer’s fruit and vegetable box, switching to a clean energy provider, embracing meat-free Mondays, shopping second hand, taking 3 for the sea, or using public transport instead of driving one day a week.
Choose real-life: The internet is wonderful for so many reasons. We can share images, words and videos in nano-seconds, and access the entire human knowledge on a palm-sized device. However, humans need more than digital connections to live happy and fulfilling lives, as well as create change.
Whether you want to participate in a protest, volunteer your time to a charity, swap homegrown produce with locals or attend a book club, the internet is your starting place but definitely not the end game for change-making.
Community resilience is crucial for surviving climate catastrophe and bettering the world we live in. So get out, meet your neighbours and invite them over for a cuppa. Learn who your local farmer is and support their work. Make human connections and reap the rewards of real-life relationships and stronger communities.
Be a forever-student: Rather than thinking you know everything about a certain topic, continue to seek more information and identify what you don’t know. Explore off-shoots of the subject and continue to expand your understanding. By continuing to learn you will continue to grow as a person, and only through growth can we help bring change to the world. Attend free public lectures at your library, join a gardening club or men’s shed, take a cooking class, ask your grandma (or someone else’s) to teach you how to knit.
The bonus to always learning is you’ll meet new people, have new topics to discuss with old friends, build personal resilience by learning old skills or simply become a pub-trivia whizz.
Get local: Creating change begins at home, so it’s important to understand what’s happening in your own community. Find out who your local MP is, sign up to their newsletter and know what projects they’re supporting. Ask for community improvements, follow them up regularly or organise a signed petition to show support. Remember, they work for you.
It’s also important to show your enthusiasm for the things being done well in your neighbourhood. Attend council-sponsored events you believe are important for your community or send a thank you email to a community group for a job well done.
And remember what Dr Seuss said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Written by Nicole Lutze
Nicole is a freelance writer with a passion for sustainability and a penchant for vegetable gardens. She loves to tell stories about people who are inspired to do things differently, and those who hope to change the world for the better.