Those who have had the least impact in causing climate change are the ones who will suffer the most from its consequences. Many are suffering right now as you read this and have been for years.
We know it’s hard to hear. We know because for so long, we didn’t want to consider it.
We always knew climate change was an issue that we should do more about, but whenever we thought about it, we just got sad or angry. We always thought that big business should be doing more. We always thought that governments should be doing more. We always thought that it was up to the people in charge to fix it. Then, when they continued to deny the urgency of the situation, we got scared.
We felt completely helpless. We felt as though there was nothing we could possibly do but wait. We desperately tried to find something that we could influence or control to help prevent climate change. Then, we realised something that completely changed our lives and our outlook on the situation. We realised that the only thing we had any real control over was adjusting our own lifestyles to live more sustainably. We can’t (and shouldn’t try to) control how other people live their lives. We can’t singlehandedly control what governments and businesses do to tackle climate change. But, when we make even the smallest daily decisions towards living more sustainably, we start on a path that if we continue to follow, leads to a truly sustainable life.
Over the past couple of years, we have been trying to find ways to reduce our impact on the planet. There were times when it was hard to keep up the motivation. There were times when it was difficult to know if the changes we were making were actually reducing our impact. A few months in, we found an online tool that we could use to calculate our impact and then as we make small changes, see what effect it has on our overall impact. We both went through this calculator and although the results were concerning at first, it gave us a clear baseline. Ever since taking the calculator, finding motivation and knowing what changes will have the greatest effect has been much easier.
As we continued to make small changes to our lifestyle, we kept seeing more and more protests and student strikes around the lack of action on climate change. We saw people of all ages becoming increasingly anxious about the future of the planet. We also saw a growing consensus among mental health professionals that one of the best ways for people to manage this anxiety is to take control of reducing their own impact.
Easier said than done. It’s much easier for us to just keep on doing what we’re doing and try and tune out the warnings of where we’re headed. It’s also easier to blame big business and governments for not taking action. Unfortunately, neither of these solutions do much at all to reduce the dangers of climate change. We’re not going to try and pretend that making adjustments to our lifestyle is always easy. It’s often difficult and it sometimes presents us with real moral dilemmas.
In fact, we’re not going to tell you to do anything. We’re not experts and we’re not here to convert anyone. We’re certainly not going to tell you to make any huge and immediate changes to your life. All we want to do is share some of the ways that we’ve adjusted our decision making to work towards living a more sustainable life.
If you’re ready to get going, we recommend that you take the footprint calculator by clicking on the link below and then come back to see what you can get started with. Be as honest as you can with your answers and don’t worry about what score you end up with. We all have to start somewhere and whatever score you get, it will give you a clear baseline. From here, it’s easy to weigh up what effect different adjustments will have. If you’d rather not take the calculator, please feel free to have a look around the website and check out some of the links and resources on each page. All of the links and inspiration are interesting perspectives from a range of different people and organizations and they are a great way to keep your motivation up. We hope you find some value in what we have to share and we hope that you find some helpful tips and inspiration for living a more sustainable life.
Lots of love,
Tom and James
Links and inspiration
- https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/global-environment-outlook-6 (the summary for policy makers is easier to understand)
Follow our blog
Get new tips and tricks delivered directly to your inbox.