So, today is Earth Day. Another day where we reflect on how lucky we are to have such a beautiful environment. There aren’t many people who wouldn’t say they ‘care’ about the environment, so how do we find ourselves in the midst of catastrophic environmental carnage?
Every single action you choose to make has an impact on the Earth.
Here’s ten simple things you can do, starting today, to lessen that impact forever.
- Reconsider the car – we’re really lucky along this coastal strip. It’s pretty much flat. Yet the number of people who jump in the car for short trips is astounding. Leave the car at home. Skate, walk, run, cycle. You’ll zoom past the traffic jams, you’ll arrive with a sexy rosey glow and you’ll know you’re not adding to congestion, pollution and a societal reliance on fossil fuels to run your errands.
- Buy local – when you buy local goods, you’re reducing your footprint. That piece of jewellery or fruit, produced locally has not been transported half the way across the globe. You’re supporting the local economy and you can usually meet the producer. That’s a triple bottom line outcome as a result of a very small act.
- Grow your own food – seriously, even if it’s only herbs or a small selection of veggies on a balcony – you can have an enormous impact on your shopping bill, your diet and your environmental footprint if you’re growing your own food. And if you can’t grow it at home, join one of the growing community garden networks on the Gold Coast.
- Cut the consumerism – just stop buying shit you don’t need.
- Buy things that last – but if you must buy things, buy things that will stand the test of time. Whether it be a pair of bedside lamps or a washing machine – you do not want to be replacing those things every three years. Have you noticed the televisions that people dump on the side of the road? Those people are not throwing them ‘away’. There is no ‘away’. Cut the consumerism, you cut the waste and you cut our reliance on those rare minerals we’re ripping out of the ground to make all that crap in the first place.
- Get rid of single-use plastic – if you haven’t already found ways to cut down, you’re living in a time warp. Single-use plastic is seriously so, like uncool man. And it’s everywhere. Most conservation groups are working on programs to reduce plastic use, plastic littler, plastic pollution in our seas and on our beaches. It doesn’t take much effort to significantly cut down on the amount of single-use plastic in your life. You know, that left over dinner? It doesn’t need cling wrap. Put it in a container with a lid. That last minute stop for milk? Throw it on the passenger seat. It doesn’t need a bag. If you haven’t already got a stash of green bags in your boot, go to that drawer – cupboard – bagful in the kitchen RIGHT NOW and put them in there.
- Get a reusable coffee cup and water bottle – so maybe you just have one take-away coffee a week. But I’m guessing you have more. And maybe you only buy bottled water when you’re really thirsty, like when you’re filling up with fuel at the servo. But you add that up. You, your mates, their mates, their mothers, and then multiply that by 6 billion people on the planet. And then consider that those little plastic lids on the coffee cups, the cups themselves, waterproofed, and all those water bottles. And just think. Where do come from? They come from fossil fuels. We are mining the Earth to make freaking lids for your freaking coffee. We are mining the Earth so that you can have a drink of water while you drive. Get that shit sorted.
- Vote with your feet – you know every now and then you find something out about a company and you think ‘woah, that’s really lame, they shouldn’t be allowed to do that.’ And then you go and buy your yoga pants or your pizza or your car from them anyway? You should stop doing that. There’s always an alternative. Find one.
- Get educated – there are tonnes of unbiased, truthful, evidence-based resources around so that you can find the information you need to make educated choices. Community-based not for profit groups are full of great resources as well. Main stream media is not the best place to start.
- Take action – make a donation, wear a shirt, vote with your feet, vote! Sign a petition, join a rally, lock-on. Find like-minded people, start a community group. Protest. We live in a democracy. But democracies only work when people like you are participating. And most of all, take Billy Bragg’s advice. “If no-one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man.”
If you want to know more about the challenges facing the Gold Coast’s environment, get in touch with: