How can you make a change if you’re just one person, right?
That’s what I always used to believe until I came across this quote (back in the good ol’ 2013 Tumblr days).
Be the change you want to see in the world
And ever since then, it really did begin to change my outlook on things. Sure, you might not change the entire world by giving a homeless person the spare change in your pocket, or by separating your recycling. But you’ve made a difference in yourself and your daily routine, and that’s what really counts.
“What good could I do?”
Well if everyone thought that, where would we be today, eh?
May I steal your attention for a moment…
I’ve been nominated for a UK Blog Award for best PR blogger, and would love it if you could vote for me (that is if you like my blog and think I’m worthy of course!). Here’s how if you’d like to.
- Click here.
- Click on the categories (Public Relations, Marketing and Communications is mine) and view the entries.
- To find my website, click on the globe.
- To see my entry information, click on the “i”.
- And to vote for my entry (please please please), click on the red heart.
- OR, you could go straight to my entry page here.
- The link is a little iffy at the moment, so if it doesn’t work for you please give me a heads up.
Thank you so very much. Now back to the blog…
Seriously though, I do see why someone might be reluctant to adopt this attitude though (I do it myself sometimes, so I’m getting a serious sense of ‘pot calling the kettle black’ right now), as the ‘I’m not going to make a difference, so why should I bother?’ mindset is all too prominent nowadays.
I can’t blame people who think like this though. With our whole world in rapid decline due to climate change and pollution, it’s hard to think you’ll ever change things. But a breaking news headline I saw just a few days might prompt you to change your whole outlook.
You can do a world of good!
A big advocate for saving our oceans, this headline to me was iconic.
It seemed like only a year ago maybe, if that, that saw people actively taking a stand to tackle water pollution. For me, the big change came with Wetherspoons introducing their paper straws (this really got people talking, and started a domino effect, if you like). And, since then, all I’ve seen is companies taking positive action to tackle an issue that’s undeniably destroying our marine life as we know it.
And I’m honestly in awe of it all. How amazing that multinational corporations, and now even the EU Parliament, are all working together to actively tackle this pressing, but once-ignored issue?
Environmentalists have been campaigning for change for years, and, because they chose to shun the mindset of ‘I’m not going to make a difference anyway’, they’ve challenged the world to change. To actually change. And all for the greater good.
Issue = raised, addressed, tackled
So now, as a result of a minority demanding action that spiralled into a greater majority, the European Parliament has voted for an extensive ban on single-use plastics in a bid to stop pollution entering the world’s oceans.
Apparently, products including plastic plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds will all be eradicated from 2021 under the new laws – and not a moment too soon.
The ban is intended to affect items for which valid alternatives are available, which are estimated to make up over 70 per cent of marine litter. Such pollution which is killing our marine animals, destroying our oceans and damaging our climates. To me, this is a revolutionary change to say the very least – and I feel wholeheartedly proud to watch something develop from a few campaigns not too long ago, to an entire continental law.
In fact, it’s been a great few weeks for plastic pollution (or rather, intercepting it). There are headlines splashed everywhere that depict various doings of corporations in the name of addressing plastic pollution. (And yes, there was an ocean pun there that I’m imploring you to appreciate).
Let’s never give up
I guess the message I’m trying to get across here, is that this iconic change is largely in thanks to ordinary people (like you and I) who pushed for action, who demanded change, and who won!
I’ve mentioned it more times than I can count now, but I truly do find it remarkable to see how this pledge has moved forward. Like a snowball effect, it started with a small few begging for change, and ended with colossal action – the type of action that will surely grab the issue with both hands and begin to tackle it with full force.
So if there’s something you feel strongly about, never be afraid to speak up about it. Because all it takes is one person to push the domino. To start that snowball. And holding back from campaigning for change because you feel like what you do or say won’t have any effect, can actually have a detrimental impact.
Endnote from me: what you can do to make a change?
Well, for starters, you might want to put your pitchforks and your plaques down, because you don’t need to take to the streets in an angry mob in order to make a change.
Actually, change starts at home.
Remember the quote from the beginning, be the change you want to see in the world? Well, why don’t you do exactly that? I’ve already started reducing my plastic waste and would bid you do the same. There’s so much waste going into our oceans that really need not be there, most of the time, the plastics we throw away have only been in our possession for a really short period of time. So do we need them at all?
Here are a few things that you can do to cut back on the plastic:
- Take a reusable bag – it’s 2018, and the carrier bag charge has been in place for a while now, but I still see people a large portion of my local Tesco’s customers walking out with their just-bought bags. 10p won’t break the bank, sure, but why not save it anyway? Bring your own bag from home, and if you don’t really need one – don’t use it at all.
- Carry your fruit – this point sounds weird, so bear with me. One of the biggest ocean pollutants is small bags. If you don’t need em, don’t use em. Bring a small reusable bag (you can get really cute lunch bags) for fruit from stores instead of grabbing those shitty clear bags which’ll inevitably end up in landfill or in our oceans.
- Shun the plastic straws – if you really need a straw, then use an alternative. I’ll hold my hands up and say those paper straws are pretty gross, so if you feel as though you need a straw, but, like me, aren’t a fan of the available alternatives then why not get a pack of reusable metal straws? (Yes, they’re a thing).
And here are a few suggestions from The Green Education Forum:
- Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
- Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.
- Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging.
- Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
- Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop. (Side note from me, loads of places will do your brew cheaper if you bring in your own cup – so there’s an incentive if nothing else).
- Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use styrofoam.
- Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
- Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you’ll be eating fewer processed foods!
- Don’t use plasticware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.
- Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers (for berries, tomatoes, etc.) back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.
- Make freshly squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It’s healthier and better for the environment.
- Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
- Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor
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