There’s no dispute that climate change and how we protect our environment is the hot topic, everyone seems to be talking about it, but is everyone doing something about it?
It’s easy to say it’s the role of governments or business to make the changes to save the planet. However, change will only really be driven if the consumer takes action. It’s all too easy to say the right thing, maybe stand with a placard and take part in a demonstration, but how many of us really understand what we need to do too, or are we prepared to do it?
It will be the demands of the consumer that will have the biggest impact to change the ways businesses and governments think, not by what the consumer says, but what they do.
Are consumers prepared to never use a plastic shopping bag? Are consumers ready to never purchase anything wrapped in plastic? Are consumers ready to eat in season and locally sourced produce and say goodbye to many out-of-season luxuries? Are consumers ready to ‘mend and make do’? Something our grandparents were experts in. The disposable society we now have is completely out of kilter with the environmental issues we face today. What are the products we simply just don’t need anymore? Will consumers commit to zero landfill waste for their household? Will consumers respect our countryside, our rivers, and our seas by not polluting?
Are we prepared, as a society, to give up many things that have become a way of life, using unsustainable methods creating unnecessary waste and pollution? Because until we do, businesses will keep manufacturing, governments will be afraid of upsetting the status quo, and so the cycle will continue.
The climate change crisis can only be solved if the consumer plays a major part and takes action, not demonstrating in the streets but instead making a real commitment to reducing demand on the items we just don’t need anymore.
When it comes to trade shows and conferences, as delegates are we prepared to refuse the giveaways, which end up in landfill, stop the printing on unsustainable materials, and stop using venues that have little or no commitment to sourcing locally?
It is really easy and can happen immediately with small steps, such as reusing and refilling milk bottles, using refillable containers for a range of products, from washing up liquid to cereals, or using locally sourced food. Taking inspiration from BBC’s The Repair Shop, repairing appliances and furniture rather than discarding them. Stopping buying anything that has plastic, including shopping bags. Using more public transport. Growing vegetables, even in a window box, and always take home any litter or better still don’t create any in the first place!
There’s so much we’re doing and so much more we can do. We need to consider, as individuals, are we ready to take that positive action and change our lives as well as the planet for good?