What Is Holding You Back From Taking Action On Climate Change?

If we cared enough we would stop talking.
Going against our consumer culture and investing your energy in environmental causes takes courage. But you're not alone.
Going against our consumer culture and investing your energy in environmental causes takes courage. But you're not alone.
Do the global effects of our unsustainable consumer culture make you frustrated? Are you saddened by pictures of devastating bushfires and floods, massive icecaps melting into the ocean, further clearing of rainforests, coral bleaching, animals choking on plastic? 

Do you question the way our world works, and wonder why the governments and corporations don’t do more to stop the obvious destruction of our natural environment?

This is how I’ve felt on almost a daily basis. The frustration of seeing kids riding down the road on their push bikes, chucking plastic food wrappers over their shoulder. The anger I’ve felt noticing people walking along the street dropping their plastic drink containers on the ground. The repulsion at smelling burning plastic and rubbish that fills our villa from the neighbours property. It’s all around me. 
I’ve had to stop watching the news and most current affairs shows because my mind could no longer handle the stress of continuous bad news from around the world. The feeling of hopelessness at being so far removed from being able to do anything. The feeling of weakness at not being able to stand up for the Earth and have a voice against the selfishness of people. 

These things and so many more deep seated emotions are the reason why a large number of people who are passionate about environmental and humanitarian causes feel helpless to do anything.

Not only do the problems seem so big and out of our control, but the things in our own lives - time crunches, busy-ness, finances, obligations, relationships, convenience, all play a part in us choosing to live our lives the way we do. 

Many of us feel so passionate about environmental and humanitarian causes, but still go to the local supermarket to buy plastic packaged products, still get our coffee in a takeaway cup, struggle to remember to take our own shopping bags, and jump in the car to go 5 minutes down the road to buy something… The guilt is palpable, but yet we still do it… 

We get so mad about what the government is doing to green wash their policies and position themselves as doing something about the environment, when really all they are doing is mildly correcting their own hideously damaging policies from the year before. But yet in a way we do the same thing...

We like things on Facebook so we are seen to be taking a stand. We share things we want other people to know about, but take no action ourselves. We get angry at the news on television, then change the channel to watch ‘reality TV’. We don’t take a stand on expressing our passion about anything that might offend people, or make others stop and question our sanity.

But if we are honest with ourselves, in reality, if we cared enough we would do something about it...

If we cared enough we would stop talking, change our own behaviour and break our own bad habits… 

If we cared enough we would take it further than our own behaviour, and take it into own homes, our communities, our schools and into our workplaces...

This is the reality I have woken up to this week. 

It’s time to do more, step out of comfort zones and take things to the next level. 

My ideal is to go completely zero-waste and live sustainably in an eco-village, or on our own plot of land - veggies, chickens, goat and all, but that will take a little bit of time to work towards, I really need to be back in Australia to make it happen… 

But since I started on this journey, I’ve been focusing on what is within my immediate control, my own behaviours and habits, what I consume, how I spend my time. I’ve realised that when it comes down to it, it is about questioning our current priorities, and recognising if they are really in alignment with our personal values. 

This took some soul-searching and writing a long list of what my personal values are, enabling me to discover the principles that I wish to live by. I’m aware now of the little changes I can make immediately, the big changes I have to work toward - and the courage I must have to make it all happen. 

Because that is what it takes. Courage. 

Courage to hear and follow your calling. Courage to be different. Courage to challenge your own beliefs. Courage to not conform to the expectations of Western consumer culture. Courage to tread your own path. Courage to piss people off or annoy people for living your truth.

But with every tiny bit of courage we have to make the hard choices, the hard changes toward living sustainably, we make a big difference to the future of our Earth.