The Green Tau: issue 25

14th November 2021

Governments and world leaders have not take action that matches up to the structures of the scientists. Now it is up to us as the people. We are not insignificant. We have money to spend – albeit not as much as governments and the top “5 percenters” – and we have voices with which to speak out. 

Consumer power saved dolphins from tuna nets, saved puffins by ending the use of sand eel oil in biscuits, saved veal calves and hens from cages, saved whales by ending the use of whale oil in cosmetics, saved minks from becoming fur coats …  Consumer power has swung behind campaigns to wear seat belts, to give up smoking, to end drink driving. Now consumer power is seeing the end of single use plastic straws and plastic bags. Consumer power is feeding the growth of organic and vegan foods, and the popularity of vintage clothing. Consumer power is even increasing the number of cycles on the roads.  

We can continue to use our money strategically to shape the world we want to live in. We can band together for greater effect. We can boycott products and service – even entire lifestyles – than damage our future. 

We can be influencers and game changers. We can set the example, we can be there trail blazers. We can show others – individuals like ourselves, small businesses and big businesses, schools, civic groups and faith centres, local councils and governments – that this is the way we want to live. 

We can write letters and petition. We can make posters and banners. We can write articles, we can blog and vlog. We can hold coffee mornings and parties. We can sing and we can be theatrical. We can inform and enthuse. We can demonstrate. We can speak out and we can speak up.

We can also be game changers by not spending money! Not everything we do, not everything we enjoy has to cost money. And things that are free seldom have a carbon footprint! A walk in the park. A chat with a friend. A wave to a neighbour. Giving presence not presents. Sharing and lending. Swopping and exchanging. Upcycling and cycling. Swishing and re fashioning. Repairing and recycling. So telling and singing. DIY and home baking. Growing and preserving. 

We may feel that as one individual we can’t make a difference. We may be unsure what is the best action we can take. We may fear that we might fall under the bewitchment of green wash. We may fear that our best intentions may prove to be unwittingly destructive. We may be overwhelmed by choices before us, the flood of information that is out there, that we don’t even know where to start. 

That is why we need to come together, to find like minded companions. To learn from one another, to encourage and support each other. To know that together we can make positive change a reality. 

Next week’s Eco Tips will list some of the many organisations and groups that can help you find answers and/ or provide a framework for eco living. 

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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