While I understand the necessity of challenging the structures we live under that allow planet-destroying behaviours to remain the norm, I am also a big believer in action at an individual level. We can all make changes in our lives that can take power away from corporations and destructive governments where they are damaging our future. When we spend money we can continue to prop up the status quo or we can support the things that will lead to a better future for us and our kids.
I came up with a rough draft for a 12 step ecological action plan in my journal a while ago – before the moneyless thing had started. The thinking behind this is that people who may want to make changes at a rate they are comfortable with, but are not sure what to do or where to start, can make up their own 12 step plan taking some of these ideas and adding their own.
Journal entry: 18th October 2014
The 12 step program for individual planet-saving action (taken gradually – maybe one month at a time):
- Learn how to correctly use your bins – recycle and compost everything you possibly can – keep up with the times – and put ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letter box
- Eat seasonally and locally – look up online for a list of what is in season and stick to that – it will be cheaper and healthier – get out of the habit of eating anything you want whenever you want it – it is totally unsustainable and has a massive impact on the planet – shopping at farmers markets will help
- Change banks – divest from the big four and research the investment history of the smaller local credit unions/building societies to find one that does not invest in fossil fuels
- Op shop – new clothes are usually high impact products and mostly unnecessary
- Buy very carefully only things that are really necessary and make sure you get quality that will last – reduce the amount of stuff you buy and throw away
- Power consumption – buy ‘green’ power and stop buying power guzzling equipment – what electrical equipment do you actually need? We all need to reduce our energy consumption not just change to green tech or green energy – cannot continue using as much as we currently do
- Grow some food…even if it’s just a few boxes of greens, tomatoes and herbs on the deck – go to your local community garden on a Saturday morning to learn how to grow these things if you don’t know how – grow in a scheme with neighbours, swapping things so you don’t have to grow everything but end up with a wider range – everyone should plant fruit and nut trees everywhere even if just renting! Find out what grows best in your area and will do well with hotter temperatures – don’t just plant what you like!
- Drastically reduce your meat consumption or stop altogether – join with friends or family to start a ‘cooking school’ to teach/learn about meat-free cooking and swap ideas
- Vote Green where you can
- Think carefully before buying anything new and creating a draw on resources – if you don’t absolutely NEED it then leave it – join sharing communities and use other people’s tools, etc. and lend them yours….we don’t all need one of everything!
- Change your car to the lowest fuel hungry one you can or get rid of it and use public transport or car-pooling schemes with neighbours and friends – walk or ride a bike more often
- Share everything – including land!!!
Feeling particularly nervous about the changes coming – of being alone. I am so used to having people around – in the same house – that I will find the alone-ness overwhelming in the beginning. We all need to be around people most of the time – or maybe just me. But also interested in pushing myself and my boundaries and finding out what lies on the other side of this. I have had most of my most magical and wonderful life experiences on my own in the past – or, at least, a particular type of experience has been alone – but always want to share the special things with someone….
Don’t know how it will be so will just wait and see.