The biggest problem with the youth climate movement right now is that there’s not enough talk about the actual solutions which we can implement in our own lives as well as from a political and business standpoint. The science is clear. And we have to unite behind it. But people don’t know what that means, and this is still the biggest stumbling block. I want to focus on individual action and list all the things I’ve done so far. Or at least everything I can remember. Individual action is incredibly important, and I’ve realised how much recently. Just going out on the streets to protest is effective, but without voting with our wallets and our behaviours, it’s probably not going to cause significant change in the short term. Politicians aren’t yet worried about kids who aren’t old enough to vote, and businesses are unlikely to change unless they see strong trends away from their current products or services. Or because they’re being forced by regulation, which is obviously less likely due to the previous problem I just mentioned.
Here’s everything I’ve done so far:
- Decided not to have kids (obviously we need people in the future, just less than now. And I don’t want to put any kids I could have through our likely disastrous future)
- Cut out red meat entirely and cut back on chicken and fish
- Insulated home
- Switched to green energy supplier
- Bought an EV (smaller / more efficient the better)
- Cycle (buy a nice bike or e-bike. You’ll thank yourself for it)
- Bought a reusable water bottle (and don’t buy a bunch of them, just one or two)
- Use reusable coffee cup or flask and ask Starbucks or Costa to fill them up
- Avoid as much single use plastic as possible.
- Switched to LED lightbulbs (Philips Hue)
- Don’t buy stuff I don’t need
- Limit new technology purchases where I can. I still have my iPhone 6 (2014) and iPad Air (2013), original Apple Watch (2015). Need to replace them all soonish though. But 5 years is a good lifespan for tech. Don’t buy a new one every year or two.
- Buy only digital games and other media.
If many more of us did these and other things, it would be impossible for governments to ignore the calls for massively increased climate action.