What positive action have you taken this year? Over the past few weeks, we’ve posed this question to the Ethical Influencers community to hear their thoughts on creating change in their own authentic ways. This post summarises those, so you too can try taking these steps to live more sustainably, and create change.
When it comes to climate change, there are plenty of arguments and pointing fingers. Some say it is our governments’ responsibility, others say it is businesses’ responsibility, and others say it is all of our responsibility. In the Ethical Influencers community, we acknowledge that this combined approach is the best to take – but we can certainly act now, speak up, and encourage sustained change even from an individual point of view.
Is it enough? Absolutely not, and it’s why we continue to support this community, call for change, and encourage positive action. But our words, and our content, creates that shift from problem to solution; from words to real actions and from real actions to real change.
This post has been created in collaboration with Mona of Fleur Ethique, who says: “These are causes that speak to our hearts, that unifies us in the Ethical Influencers community, make us engage and support one another in our journeys.”
We hope you’ll enjoy reading through this catalogue of positive action, and perhaps consider taking a few ideas and making them your own too!
Advocate For A Triple Bottom Line
BY MONA OF FLEUR ETHIQUE
“As I have a background in business, I spent lot of time reading and working on sustainable business for my thesis project. From my research, I am optimistic that we have solutions if we are willing to commit, and make the change.
First of all, businesses have a huge power to change things. When I studied every aspect that starts from zero and builds a responsible business model, it made me realize that it is possible to make the shift.
In order to make the shift there has to be awareness, care, adopting the philanthropist mindset, and the curiosity to do so. Without these points it is not possible to build that sustainable business or that responsible business model that has a positive impact in the world and eventually acts on climate change.
I would like to invite every business to study the impact they are making and act upon that. Let’s question what every product is making as an impact? What we could do as a small step to move further? And how could we make a product both successful and sustainable?
For instance, minimizing waste, investing in sustainable packaging, using more natural materials, empowering women and people in rural areas, creating healthy work opportunities for staff.
Also, I encourage education around these topics. The more educated we are the more we are willing to visualize solutions and innovations that helps towards a cleaner, a fair planet and make the shift. I encourage small businesses to raise awareness about that with their employees and reflect on their solutions in a specific Market/Industry/Product. I would love to see more businesses making realistic efforts to improve their business models and shift them towards more responsible ones.
Inside of me, I really believe in businesses and I could see the impact they could make now and in the future. Responsible businesses could create initiatives that involve growing a green economy for the future generation. Now, the question is businesses are willing to take the step? Are people having that mindset to make the shift?
Also, I believe in the importance of the triple bottom line to make the shift and to create more responsible products that serves our humanity and our earth.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln
Think Globally, Act Locally
BY ALENA OF SOUL MAMMA
“Alongside the Soul Mamma blog I also run online (and sometimes in-person) parent groups in my local area. Combined with blog posts espousing ethical lifestyle choices I have continued to encourage conversation around environment topics, I have encouraged people to see the film “2040:The Regeneration” in my local area, and I have given people a safe space in which to explore pertinent issues at a grassroots level. For example, in the online parents’ group at Halloween we had a lively and engaged discussion about waste and single-use plastic and what could be done differently next year.
Having the blog and the ability to use my voice through it I am able to support ethical local businesses and creatives. One such enterprise I’ve been able to support is our new local organic produce market. By promoting it locally I have helped make this a success and in turn, it exposes people to buying bulk dry products in reusable containers, and local ethical makers and producers.
I also work directly with similar brands to promote ethical lifestyle choices. In all these ways I am hoping to influence parents towards thoughtful consumption, and less of it.”
Hold Your Representatives To Account
BY LAUREN OF INSPIRE CREATE EDUCATE
“Hold the people who represent you to account! Vote in every election, at every level. Find out who your representatives are (you can use Write To Them for this) and get in touch with them. Make your voice heard. The only way our representatives will find the political will to change is if we keep the pressure on.”
Cut Down On Beef, Involve Your Kids, & Be Picky About Fashion
BY JULIA OF WHAT A WASTE COLLECTIVE
“One easy thing I would say is to reduce your beef consumption. Let’s face it, hamburgers a plenty are found coming from the rainforest. You can replace your meat intake with a plant-based locally-sourced alternative like aubergines!
It is a great idea to get your kids involved – make art (using rainforest-safe paper products) and sell to raise money. My son has made a series of paintings he used to raise awareness at his school.
I’ve also found it really important to refine how I choose which pieces to buy. I do a quick internal style audit when I pick up a piece of clothing and ask myself if it is absolutely perfect – right colour, right style, and right fit. If it isn’t something I really love and know I will get a lot of wear out of, I place it back on the rack and move on. That way I check I’m not exercising the “buy-it-for-the-sake-of-buying” muscle, as this is a muscle I’m very much working on retiring.”
Take Climate Activism Into Your Own Hands
BY SOPHIA OF WITH MANY ROOTS
This is an excerpt from Sophia’s blog on Climate Activism and her experience of being arrested as a member of Extinction Rebellion:
“Last month I was arrested as part of the Extinction Rebellion protests going on in London to sound the climate crisis alarm.
Firstly, know that I am ok. I was treated well by the police, locked on with a friend and rebel from my hometown – and surrounded by others from Chelmsford too. Five people from Chelmsford were arrested at the same time. I was afraid, it was very nerve-wracking at points but I was clear on why I was doing it.
Secondly, know that I did it knowingly after receiving training on knowing my rights and did my homework to understand the rationale behind civil disobedience. I weighed up the potential consequences giving up my liberty would have (future possible issues with loans, jobs, travel and adoption – the one that worries me most to be honest) against two things:
1 – That adding my body to the growing number of other people willing to risk their liberty and add weight to fact that our government’s inaction is what is really criminal, and
2 – I did it, in a way, for you and all the people that know me. I don’t like to break the rules (granted I’ve got a bit more daring in the last few years) but I am historically very obedient. If you’re in a suit, older than me, a man, talk more articulately than me or are wearing a uniform – I do what I’m told. I also don’t really like to make a fuss.
So I made the choice to get arrested because this is how serious I understand the consequences of the science – and our inaction to be.
One Month On
Before Extinction Rebellion, I did not know anyone who was arrested for protesting. Learning from and with other more experienced activists, I upped my game. Now more people know someone who took this risk; me. I’m shifting the social norm ever so slightly. We need everyone to step up in a way that is stretching but makes sense and is safe for us.
When real change will come, it will come fast but we’re not there yet. There is still so much to do. And it’s not in isolation. Protests are erupting in Lebanon, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and of course ongoing in Hong Kong.
“The data shows that the amount of protests is increasing and is as high as the roaring 60s,” reports The Guardian.
The world is sick and people are rising up.
And in the lyrics of a guy who knows how to write a protest song; “It’s not the waking, it’s the rising” that really matters.”
To read more about Sophia’s experience, read the full blog post here.
Prioritise Your Most Meaningful Actions
BY BESMA OF CURIOUSLY CONSCIOUS
“When it comes to approaching climate change as an individual, there’s no real way to rationalise it. A metal straw won’t cut it. In fact, all your emissions across your life, won’t cut it.
But I’m a believer in promoting positive action, and combining three areas:
- Individual action
- Commercial action
- Political action
While it’s not possible to do all three, and all three alone, it is worth seeing how you can take steps in all three. What steps can you easily take at home, in your diet, and how you travel? Why not start by calculating your carbon footprint to find out? Or look through your bin? Or look over your receipts?
On that note – look at where you shop, and what you buy. What can you say no to? What can you buy second-hand? What can you do to put pressure on the brands who aren’t up to scratch?
And on the political side, vote. Register to vote. Read the party manifestos. Read up on your local representatives. Contact them if you have questions – they represent you.
Individually, we can’t tackle this. But collectively, taking these small, efficient steps, I believe we can create huge change.”