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Our eco-man Malcolm Rands has been thinking about New Year resolutions you can actually keep that will help our planet:
Each New Year many of us make grand resolutions for the coming year. What if these resolutions were actually climate friendly actions that were easy to keep?
It’s not all about sacrifice
Sometimes we look at the activists that are doing extreme and energy draining activities and although these people need to be applauded, we don’t have to go there. Focus on the impact of your actions rather than the efforts. Some are actually very easy. change your power company or KiwiSaver , boycott an climate destroying brand and let them know why, email your MP. it’s all about the impact of these actions rather than the effort
The climate emergency can keep you up at night with worrying. But we have to find friendship, love, pleasure, and laughter not just alongside our efforts on climate, but ideally as an integral part of them. The good news is that whether it’s riding a bike or attending a protest, there are so many sources of joy to be had that it’s hard to know where to start.
You are not alone
We are lucky in NZ to have quite a communal culture. Don’t think of your actions as an individual taking on the big powers but rather a boycott by you and your friends and family. If you want more partners there are many organisations you can join and be part of a team. Maybe one day you and your best friend may end up, handcuffed to the gates of a agrochemical plant together
Be kind to yourself and even the so-called others
Guilt is a terrible emotion and can drive many peoples actions. The other side of this is shame, and shaming others. This can cause you to loose your power and just alienate people. Be careful to identify who is really responsible for the climate emergency, for example just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions, so let’s not point the finger at each other. We can however boycott those companies and get them to change.
It’s not all about your individual actions, or what government and industry are doing. It’s a combination of all. But you can look at the systems in your life to make things easier to do the right thing. Yes still pressure for that bike lane and also look at the barriers that are stopping you. Have you got all weather clothes, is the bike easy to access at your home or is it even the best bike for the task.
The same is true of almost any climate-friendly behaviour we might want to adopt. Stop berating yourself for not doing it. Instead, examine what holds you back, and then change it.
With all New Years resolutions, it is often the small and numerous ones that happen whilst the big challenging change of life stuff, often doesn’t even last to the end of January