There is a clock in Manhattan which used to tell us the time, but now tells us our remaining time. The remaining time left in which a difference can be made in order to halt the irreversible damage of climate change, as of today, the 22nd of October, reads 12 years, 1 month, 2 days, 15 hours, 46 minutes and 46 seconds. We can’t go back in time of course, but what we decide to do in our present and our future is what could make our limited time, unlimitless.
Frankly, I’m terrified that I won’t be able to help, but I’m moreso terrified that I’m not doing enough or anything worthwhile. I can only describe this feeling as ‘overwhelming’ and I think that a lot of young people probably feel the same. How can one not feel utterly helpless when presented with the fact that we have only twelve years before nothing can be done to save our planet? It seems almost unrealistic that me or you can do anything to stop this disastrous event from taking place, but that’s where we’re mistaken. Not only can you as a person make a change to your mindset and your lifestyle, but you can help teach and influence others, and the more people that know, the better.
Rather than looking at climate change in terms of the world itself changing (which is important to remember), look at it in terms of how YOU respond and change in terms of the decline of our ecosystems. These changes don’t have to be dramatic, expensive, or self-sacrificing, as Tesco says “every little helps”.
As I mentioned above, mindset is very important. Sometimes inspiration is needed to help give us that kick of motivation to start something. If you’ve made it this far, you’re already on the right track. But what else can you do? For starters, educate yourself. This doesn’t have to be via an expensive or long online course, but simply surround yourself with potent information. Follow people on social media who fight for climate change and who will talk about it. Watch documentaries about our planet, the beauty and the decline. Watch trusted news sources and get the facts, as the best way of staying in the loop is to have the right information available.
To give you that extra bit of motivation, below are a group of FIVE climate activists and groups which I believe are definitely worth a follow and a read. Ranging in age and location, these accounts will give you facts AND solutions, and will kick-start your feed and your mind to being a friend of the earth and a beacon of change.
1. The Useless Project
The Useless Project (formerly Sustainable Fashion Dublin) was started in November 2018 by Taz Kelleher and Geraldine Carton. The aim of the Useless Project is to promote sustainability through education, advocacy, and awareness. Through positivity and energy they have created multiple spaces on several online platforms which provide ways and activities to be sustainable. These activities range from topics like upcycling clothes, DIY home cooking recipes, and how to be a good house plant mom. These Irish ladies are colourful, fun, and make the idea of being sustainable seem much easier than originally expected.
2. Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg is a 17-year-old girl from Sweden. Internationally known as an environmental activist who inspired the movement to battle climate change, Greta speaks out and thus has inspired climate change protests around the globe. She has profiles on Twitter and Instagram, and is definitely worth a follow as her passion and her young age reminds me that it’s never too early to start caring.
3. David Attenborough
Another advocate for climate change is Sir David Attenborough, English historian and broadcaster. Since his twenties, Attenborough has been exploring the globe and broadcasting his finds of plant and animal wildlife. Now in his nineties, Attenborough has released a documentary on Netflix called A Life On Our Planet, in which he himself says his witness statement. In this alarming documentary, Attenborough talks of the rapid rate of climate change in his lifetime, and speaks of what will happen if nothing is done. I would highly recommend that you watch Attenborough’s witness statement on Netflix and join us in our millions of following his newly acquired Instagram account, reminding us that you are never too old to join the party, be it on Instagram or in the fight for sustainable living.
4. Going Zero Waste
Going Zero Waste is an account run by Kathryn Kellogg, a woman dedicated to climate change and National Geographic’s spokesperson for plastic-free living. Based in San Francisco, Kathryn has written a book titled 101 Ways To Go Zero Waste, and is a great account to follow in terms of getting ideas for repurposing household items and overall reducing your waste in a creative and positive way. Kathryn’s advice is also available on her blog, goingzerowaste.com, and also on her other social platforms.
Pat Kane, the founder of Reuzi, was a new mom who started to notice the build-up of waste in her home. She started to wonder how a small family such as hers could build up so much waste, so she began Reuzi, an Irish website dedicated to cutting down on waste and being more environmentally friendly. Its website and social platforms equip readers with tricks to reusing and repurposing in ways that are financially as well as environmentally friendly.
These activists and their social media profiles are just a small percentage of the vast amount of resources and information available to us. Your mind and headspace are an important part of the process in terms of becoming environmentally friendly, because you have to want it at least a little bit. Similarly, when you surround yourself with positive and motivated people, you find yourself becoming more positive and motivated.
Change is really at the tip of our fingertips if we allow it, not only for ourselves but for world the world around us. If you aren’t into scrolling or increasing your screen time, which is understandable, you can always take small steps such as turning off lights you’re not using, taking a shower instead of a bath, or just using a reusable water bottle.