rebel blog by titia
Climate change is happening, you know that. You would like to do more. But you don’t know what, how, where or when. You don’t have time or energy to add something on top of everything you already do. What you could fit in your schedule feels so little that it doesn’t really seem worth it. Sounds like you?
I have good news for you. Your climate action does not have to be something additional and it doesn’t have to be big to make a difference.
I love this venn diagram by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. She says, don’t quit your job to get into climate action. Don’t start doing something that you don’t like or are not good at ‘for the good cause’. Look for what brings you joy and what you are good at, and where that overlaps with what is needed in climate action. Look within your current life, your job, your hobbies, your social life.
I recently joined my local Extinction Rebellion group in Reigate, Redhill and Dorking. I am living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the past three years and have very little energy. One of the things I do as part of my recovery journey is meditating. One of the things I miss in my new low-profile life is social activities. Last week I joined a silent protest Pause for the Planet. Nine times nine minutes of silence to draw attention to the climate crisis. It didn’t cost me energy. I enjoyed connecting with the people I did it with. And the peaceful but powerful statement we made drew attention to many people passing by. Most stopped to read our banners, some took a flyer and a few even joined us for a bit. Simple, friendly action can be very powerful. This action fitted my life and gave me joy and energy.
Meditation or sitting at the side of the road for 81 minutes might not be your thing and that’s ok. That is my point. Think about what you enjoy and attach it to that. Like walking? Join a climate march. Like drawing or painting? Help with making posters, banners or art for social media. Like writing? Write blog posts. Work as a teacher? Integrate climate awareness in math lessons, or help develop educational material. Work in construction? Educate yourself in more sustainable construction material, be curious and ask questions to colleagues, bosses, and suppliers. Member of a golf club? Ask if there is room to let more wildflowers grow and make it more friendly to local wildlife. Love cooking? Experiment with more local produce and meatless dishes or do a cake sale to raise awareness and money for climate action. You get my point, look at your current life and integrate climate action into it.
Overwhelmed by the size of the problem? Then there is one last thing I would like to leave you with. The power of small actions. I loved this quick calculation on Instagram. It was related to healthy habits, but the idea is the same. Doing a little effort regularly is more powerful than an occasional big effort.
Can’t find the time to block a full day to join a climate march? What about 5 minutes a day to sign a petition or retweet the message of a climate activist you like? You can take some flyers to your gym/ yoga class/ football club or write to your MP. You can translate this as well to doing a small thing each week or month is more powerful than one larger thing once or twice a year. You can for example make a change by writing one email each week to a company behind the products in your kitchen and ask what they do to fight climate change. Local extinction rebellion groups organise short protest or banner drop on a regular basis, like the Pause for Peace, or a 20 min protest Faith a the Gate in Horsehill our group organises each month. I encourage you to look for your climate action sweet spot. Something that fits your life and is close to your heart. Good luck and we would love to hear what you’re working on.