So I’m sure we’re all aware that the world is sort of dying – but do not despair! It can be difficult to even think about tackling a climate emergency, but there are small steps that anyone can do that might just help the environment, as well as easing that sense of impending doom.
It’s not particularly unusual to follow a vegetarian diet, or even a vegan one. The question is whether it’s possible for it to be a wide-scale movement. Veganism can still be seen as a joke, or associated with a particular type of Stroud hippie, but it’s not! Plant-based food is just as delicious as animal, and it’s a million times better for the ozone layer (For further reading, search for BBC Good Food! The documentary Cowspiracy may also be helpful.) Maybe you don’t feel like committing full time; not many do! Even swapping out meat once a week can help.
Transport is a pretty mainstream climate issue: people are often urging us to try cycling to the shops, or taking a bus, but out here the hills and lack of reliable public transport make that pretty difficult. Plus, everyone wants to learn to drive! Electric cars are a completely viable option, and can be reasonably cheap second-hand! Otherwise, maybe a ‘carpool’ or lift-share with friends could help reduce our emissions.
Schools are meant to be a place that prepare us for the world out there – so why don’t they talk about climate change? Encouraging schools to take more steps like recycling bins, less disposable packaging, less paper, and educating students on climate change could make a huge difference: after all, people who are at school now are going to be making the decisions in the future.
One of the biggest problems for young people is that growing up in a world with so many problems, climate change can get a bit lost in all that clutter. A drastic event or natural disaster might take over the Internet every few months, and then is forgotten about – and it’s not easy to focus on one issue when there seem to be a million others all demanding our attention. That’s why groups like Minch CAN are important, because finding time to take steps can be hard, and a few pointers to get you started might be the beginning of a major change.
What’s the point?
But what about that ever-present overwhelming sense of dread: that the worst-case scenario is happening, and the apocalypse is nigh? Well, climate action can seem a little disheartening when polluting companies and governments refuse to change, however much we ask. But nothing good ever comes easy – making small changes and speaking up is the first step! It may be difficult, but climate action is the right thing, and the change we want will come.
Talk about it! Big issues like this one have a tendency to roll around into the public eye once every few months, but we need to stick to taking action and making changes; because climate change doesn’t go away when it isn’t in the news.
This page was written by local GCSE student Sophia, who offered to volunteer with us as part of a project for school. It was an absolute delight getting to know a bit about her and talk to her about her perspectives on climate change, and we really appreciate her work! If you’re interested in submitting something to include on our website, or volunteering, please do get in touch!