Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day Well, today is it, Blog Action Day. I've been thinking about what I would write today to take part in this effort and came up with the following.

Feeling small and powerless about what is happening to our physical world home is normal. We are small, compared to the physical world. But we are power-full, not powerless. Each part of this whole has an effect. Whatever you do personally will ripple out through the rest of the whole of humanity causing change. Is that change that you are personally responsible for a positive change or a negative change? That is the really basic question we must continually ask ourselves.
For example: When I once again, forget my cloth reusable shopping bags and have to pick paper or plastic, there is an actual effect. Even if it is minute, there still is one. There is the actual physical production and transport of the disposable bag that I have to use to bring my groceries home. And the bagger who may have some thought about having to use yet another disposable bag and being bummed about that. The store manager may choose not to sell reusable bags based on how many disposables their store consumes. It all adds up you see? A cumulative effect results out of every single choice we individually make all day every day.
That is exhausting to think about, but it is important that more of us are conscious of this. I try not to get overwhelmed with taking on this responsibility, it is ok though. We are all powerful, every human being is tremendously powerful. The choices we make, the thoughts we think and the words we say do count for something. It all adds up in the end, for all time. What we each choose to do with this information is important, and may well determine whether or not humanity will continue for a long time in the future or not.

So start slow, and small. You don't have to do this all at once. But keep it in mind all the time.
This is what I've done so far, that has had a positive affect on the whole global environmental picture.

Consider changes you can make in what you purchase. Think of how and where you spend your money as voting. Every purchase is a vote. Supporting local farmers by buying their produce has a tremendous impact. Or shopping at a small bookstore instead of a chain. Just think, gigantic Walmart is now going to offer organic products in their stores, because the customers voted for it, individual choices aggregated to the whole cause behemoth businesses to change how they operate.

Consider not buying new. Are there used, vintage, op-shops that you can shop in before buying new clothing, furniture, or household stuff? Can you repair or transform what you already own, so that it seems new? (Wardrobe Refashion)
Can you borrow what you need from someone?
Pass on what you no longer need (Freecycle! or Craigs list).
Also, use your local library! Movies, music, magazines and books all there for you to use, for free. My library can order stuff from other library systems, all online too. Check yours out. We consume media so blithely, and they take up so much space and resources when only used once or twice. Think of how much of your home is devoted to storing this stuff, maybe you don't need to move to a bigger house?!
Communicate about what you are doing differently. Tell people (like I'm doing here!), talk about it at the stores you go to, in the produce section, at the checkout, to your friends and acquaintences. Get that ripple action going through the circles of people you encounter. Chance comments from strangers have changed my thinking on lots of subjects, so it is worth the small effort it takes. Write letters or emails or phone your elected representatives about the issues you are concerned about. They really do keep track about the communications they receive from voters, so if we all do this, eventually more of them will listen to us instead of to the industries funding their campaigns.
Be informed about local and global environmental issues. The more you know, the more you can participate in making positive changes. Goodness, there are so many resources on the web to do that but I really like reading NRDC, and environmental coverage on Alternet, listening to the global climate change coverage on NPR, watching inspiring speakers on environmental issues at TED,

I'll wrap this up with this final thought: What you and I do today, right now is important. Thinking positively about the changes we can make is worthwhile.

1 comment:

Therese May said...

Hi, Julie,

Thanks For all of your thoughtful writing about what's really important. I like thinking about buying as voting!