Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Let’s clear one thing up: no one can achieve perfectly zero waste and it goes beyond physical waste. It is shipping waste, waste that the stores and retailers make, energy waste on extracting new materials, and so forth.
The reality is, we are facing the effects of climate change now. Climate change is already affecting our day-to-day and we are getting closer and closer to irreversible, closer than you might think. Most people think we have until 2050, but in reality, most scientists predict anywhere from 11-18 years is all we have left before it becomes irreversible. I’ll leave some sources linked below. Turns out, you will be alive to see the worst of climate change.
Here’s a short list of things we are already experiencing due to climate change:
6th mass extinction of animals
Ice caps melting and rising sea levels
Global pandemics, though not caused by climate change, at least this time, is worse because of warmer average temperatures
And much more
I’m not making this video to give you climate anxiety, I just want more people to care. Chances are, if you’re watching this, you care, a lot. But, we need to get this message across to those who don’t! I encourage you to share this video, other videos, and talk to people about this.
But, you might be thinking, “I am just one person, I can’t stop climate change.” Sure, you can’t halt it, but we individuals have a huge voice. Think about how businesses operate: supply and demand. If we stop their demand, they stop. If we all quit buying plastic bottles of coke and demand change, they’ll change. If we all quit eating beef, they’ll quit raising beef. If we quit supporting wasteful practices, unethical practices, and greenwashing, companies WILL change!
Honestly, as much as I believe that by me not using a plastic water bottle every day DOES help the pollution crisis, it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. That is why I try to inspire others to do the same AND educate others as well. That is why we need to write to our companies, write our governments, and band together to make real, significant change.
I guess, what I am trying to get at with this message is one of my favorite quotes: we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need everyone doing it imperfectly. That is why I started my channel to provide easy, free, and accessible ways that everyone can implement to try to live more sustainably. We don’t need “zero-wasters,” we need to get back to consuming less. We need to start caring about big companies and governments not caring about our health or the health of the planet. ALL OF US!
It’s not affecting wealthy nations. It’s not affecting inland communities. That is why these demographics as a whole don’t care. Companies don’t care because they might lose money. It is not affecting us yet, at least, not to the extent that it is affecting minority communities and coastal communities throughout the rest of the world. In fact, right now, 1/3 of Bangladesh is underwater. They contribute less than 1% to climate change, but their nation is suffering TODAY. Not in 10 years, not in 50 years. TODAY. It might not be affecting YOU today, but someone somewhere in the world is facing the consequences of our collective action RIGHT NOW.
That is what bothers me.
We collectively in Western societies and wealthy nations are either unaware and uneducated or we are just blatantly ignorant of these issues on purpose. We need to start caring about one another and not just ourselves.
The point: you don’t have to be perfect. I am still learning every day. I still produce waste. I still use oil. We have to survive. But, don’t use more than you need. Educate yourselves on these issues. Vote. Sign petitions. Educate others. Donate. Boycott wasteful companies and wasteful practices. FIGHT FOR CHANGE.
At the beginning of the pandemic when the whole world went into lockdown, we saw how the world can recover when given a chance. The world quit driving, the world quit flying, and the world was silent. But, the air cleared up, the water cleared up, and animals returned, and there was hope for the end of climate change.
Then, the world went “back to normal.”
I don’t want to go back to normal. I wish we had learned more from those first few months of the pandemic and wish that we would change our wasteful ways. Not just physical waste, either.
But, there is still hope. Just like you trust the science behind this disease, trust the science behind climate change. Those who are suffering right now would probably beg you to trust the science and take action. Make the changes and take actions that those suffering cannot. We are privileged to be able to help. Use your voice, use your vote, use your dollars.
It was great timing. I listened to a podcast this morning, the Green Dreamer podcast by Kamea Chayne, featuring Rob Hopkins. In this podcast, Rob explained this method he uses in small groups and conferences. He asks everyone to close their eyes and picture their ideal world in 10 years. I did some reflecting and here are some things I dream of.
I dream for small communities again with community gardens, community compost, and people actually talk and interact with their neighbors. It is a world powered by renewable energy and recycling rates are at an all-time high, though it’s not necessary because waste has been cut down. We have turned into a circular economy where we no longer crave small rushes of dopamine from shopping, but we love to mend, reuse, repurpose, and donate. We all know how to make our own clothes and grow our own food again. We work together as a team to build houses, to help in emergencies, and we have a sense of community. We lose our sense of selfishness. Not to mention, the public transportation system is booming. There is no more need for cars when the electric train system runs so smoothly and bicycle routes are added.
He uses this method because it helps people who just ignore the stats. Some people thrive off doom and gloom, it is what drives them to help. But others need something to look forward to. He says it helps people have memories from the future and a goal to work towards. It shows you what humans CAN have in 10, 20, 100 years instead of what we are on track to create. It’s not impossible to create what we all dream of the future to be like. But, we need to start now and we need to work together.
Climate change is our problem. It’s not Bangladesh’s problem, it’s not Thailand’s problem, it’s not the island-nations-that-will-soon-be-underwater problem. It is OUR collective problem. It is OUR collective fight.
I encourage you to check out my past videos, but specifically my environmentalist journey. In this video, I talk about how I was clouded by my small-town USA. It is hard to understand world issues when you live in a town of 2,000 people. I didn’t know where my waste went. I didn’t know how me hopping on a plane would affect someone in Asia. But, I know how and that is my personal mission with this channel; to educate you about the things I’ve learned and grown from. To inspire you to take action and to care about other people, other animals, and this beautiful planet we call home.
Climate change might not affect you today, it might not even affect you in five years, but if we sit back and do nothing, it will affect you eventually. It’s affecting people right now.
We have one home, planet Earth. She is beautiful, she is resilient, but we are killing her slowly. Let’s take action now, let’s make change now. If not for you, do it for your kids. Do it for your grandkids. Do it for the animals. Whatever inspires you to make change, keep that in your mind. Find your “why.”
That is all I have today. A bit heartfelt, emotional message today, but something that has been weighing on me heavily for quite some time. I hope this message inspires you in some way, shape, or form.
Thank you so much for reading. Let’s keep fighting the good fight. Until next time, remember that the small changes you make have a big impact in the long run, but don’t forget to make some big changes too, if possible ;)