How to be a little bit activist
If you’re worried about climate change but aren’t sure where to start, Lucy Kane gives her top tips to unleashing your inner environmentalist.
The news about the environment is worrying and can be overwhelming. Eco-anxiety is real and on the rise. Climate change can seem so big that many of us wonder how we can make a difference and save our planet from global warming. 2023 is the year that the dialogue is changing and you can make a difference as an activist. Yes we need big change but our leaders and decision makers will only make these changes if many voices are calling for that change, and we need to be louder than the commercial enterprises causing many of the problems.
Get Climate educated
Knowledge is power and whilst the information about climate change can be bleak, worrying and depressing, we can only take the right action if we understand the root of the problem. Grab yourself a copy of The Climate Book created by Greta Thunberg. This essential handbook for saving the planet is a door-stopper of a book but it’s excellently laid out with contributions from over 100 scientists and activists. At the Southbank launch, Greta said that change is going to come from growing number of individual voices, we can’t rely on our governments, decision makers or the next COP. The change will come from individuals becoming more active about the issues. Read The Climate Book cover to cover or dip in and out and then pass it on to a friend showing signs of eco-anxiety.
Tweet it out
A friend asked what she could do to help reduce air pollution. ‘Get on twitter’ was my first answer and the last thing she did. But a few months later said it was the best, most informative thing she has done. Follow anyone who is talking about the issues. Even follow those arguing against and you soon have your finger on the pulse when it comes to current debates, issues, news, events and pretty much anything you need to know. Just make sure you check the sources or only retweet trusted sources as there is also a lot of misinformation out there. It’s a great way to build a community and connect with like-minded people who are passionate about the same issues as yourself.
Local Meet Ups
Don’t overthink it, just do it! Join a local meeting and discover what is going on in your local area. Many of my environmental connections. colleagues and friends have been made at local meetings. It is impressive to discover what is going on locally and meet the leaders of these projects. They are people just like you and me. But they’re one step ahead and they’d love you to join them. Whilst I have my particular topics I’m really passionate about, in particular clean air, I’ve joined a plastic-waste meeting on holiday in Lewes, Sustainable Merton (read our article) meeting and Clean Air Parent meeting in central London. All have been illuminating and full of inspiring ideas, schemes to join, support, amplify, and opportunities to make a difference. These days I chair a local group, lead campaigns and speak on panels. How did that happen!
Look for local groups in your area: clean air, XR, Green party, cycling, walking, low traffic, plastic waste, tree planting.
One hour a week
I know, you’re busy, too busy. Over-committed and over-whelmed with work, family and friend commitments. But what are you going to say to your kids when they look you in the eye and ask what you did to save the planet? Start your journey to becoming an activist by making small changes to your lifestyle, add an extra recycling bin for crisp packets, sponsor and care for a street tree, write a letter to your local MP, read environmental columns, join a local environmental group, get a bike, garden organically, do no-mow May… whatever grabs your imagination, you’ll never regret it.
Don’t drive, Get active
Electric cars have been pitched as an environmental solution but they still come with a massive carbon footprint and generate carcinogenic micro-pollutants from brake and road wear that have been found in the unborn babies. Pollution from cars is one of the largest contributing factors to toxic air with as many as 40% of car journeys are under 2km. Many of us can change this instantly by swapping out short car journeys for walking or cycling. In addition, you can add this active to your fitness regime. Win-win!
Be a Joyful Environmentalist
We loved interviewing Battersea-based author Isabel Losada about her book The Joyful Environmentalist. The manifesto is full of great ideas and advice about taking those important steps. With laughs and honesty, it is full of anecdotes and environmental dilemmas that many of us can relate to. Isabel’s relentlessly motivating prose will help you to step up and to live your best sustainable life.
Join our breakfast networking event on International Women’s Day and where Isabel Losada will be our guest speaker.