Friday, September 13, 2013

Each "small" action creates positive change

I’ve heard several people speak about the futility of their participation because the issues on this earth are just too large for one person’s small actions to make a difference. Interestingly their communication of this frustration led to my wanting to address this on our blog today – which ironically shows that they do make a difference after all. 

The Earth is a finite planet and we are learning now that the human population is indeed having a negative impact on the health of the planet and that we can indeed reverse that trend in a variety of ways. But rather than address the entire population and all the problematic issues facing the planet, I’m going to focus on the individual for one moment.

There are lots of easily accomplished actions we can make every day… in fact we’ve done lots of posts on our blog and discussions on our radio show highlighting many small actions that have a large impact that you might want to scroll back and view or listen to.

Let’s start with just having too much stuff – consumption is draining the earth’s resources and causing all kinds of pollution, it is a wasteful habit and has a negative impact on the individual’s budget. So let’s start by facing our negative impact simply by reducing shopping habits. Transportation, for instance, as it relates to shopping means that we chose to buy things produced, manufactured, or grown closer to our home and office thereby reducing the amount of fossil fuels associated with the products and services we buy. We choose to support companies that are making efforts to be more sustainable and socially responsible… and so on. 

We can look at other ways of reducing shopping habits through repairing, renting and sharing options. We can look at buying used items from second hand stores, and repurpose or reuse items – finding another use for them instead of just tossing them away.

Recycling too has a positive impact on the health of the planet.

Reducing how much we put on the curb by composting can have a huge impact in a wide range of ways – which we won’t get into here but to learn more about the benefits of composting just scroll through the archives on our radio show.

We may have a limited budget but over time we can still invest in alternatives such as water and energy saving toilets, kitchen and laundry machines, cars, office equipment and so on. 

We can give time and share skills with worthy causes and events, groups and schools. 

We can donate small amounts of cash to wildlife, forestry, animal rescue and seed saving organizations that work to protect and rejuvenate nature and sustainable agriculture. 

Clean out the clutter and storage areas in our home or office, freeing up that storage space for other uses and releasing those items back into the community helping to create jobs, extend budgets and reduce waste associated with people buying new items instead (i.e. packaging, transportation, etc.)

We can simply clean up the litter that we spotted somewhere along the route to work, or while out jogging, walking the dogs or taking the kids to school. Simply come back another day and spend an hour picking up that litter.

There are literally thousands of small acts we can all do – way too many to list here in detail but you can learn more through our book series – Trash Talk It’s Easy To Be Green.

So one might look at these kinds of activities and say “big deal” what real impact does this have? Well actually the impact is huge. For one thing you are showing neighbors, children, friends, other shoppers and co-workers your actions because they witness it in a variety of ways… and they will become inspired to do some small act as well. You are inspiring companies to stock more sustainable eco-savvy products, which in turn inspires manufacturers to produce more products in this genre. You are creating jobs locally by shopping locally. You are reducing and preventing pollution… and encouraging local growers to green even more space to feed the growing demand. These are just a few of the results we have seen happen when people get involved and become more conscious, more proactive in seemingly small ways.

So let’s now picture just 10,000 adults in one community… each person opting to do one single green, proactive, conscious act per day. One act per day by one person doesn’t seem like a lot, but collectively we are now looking at 10,000 of these acts being done every single day – that’s 300,000 per month! …nearly 2 million individual actions every 6 months! But what if those 10,000 adults each influence just 5 children, youth or adults in their circles either online or in their community to also get involved, and they do this repeatedly each month… and those 50,000 individuals each month go on to influence 5 people… and so on – So now we can only imagine what those numbers would look like then! Instead of 2 million proactive green and conscious living actions being done every 6 months we are now looking at 10 times that amount or maybe more!

This is the power of the individual who inspires others around them and inevitably causes a concentric ripple effect that keeps growing and growing. This is what is so exciting about the grass roots efforts by individuals.

So my friends communicating their frustration made a difference because I am not creating this post that hundreds of others are reading. That is a great example of this idea in practice. As such changing over the light bulbs, signing up for e-billing, recycling more, upgrading our toilets to dual flush
flush – your choosing to share this information on your social networking circles via the social networking buttons here or emailing this URL to friends ...and so on - it all really does add up to a huge impact.

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