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There are a few celebrities in the world who are passionate about issues and use their status to elevate these issues into the public sphere.
These celebrities are similar to us and hope that they will be able to make social change by lobby governing bodies in order to make real world changes.
Often times when someone talks positively about Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo or any other mass media celebrity who cares about, and advocates for the environment there is a lot of backlash about their lifestyle choices. When DiCaprio made his speech at the Paris summit people questioned how he got there, and did his flight and the petrol that flight used, cancel out any good he might be advocating for.
Making changes to our lives to cut down energy consumption, changing our habits to cut down on waste, advocating for sustainability and questioning the governing bodies in charge of our planet are all great ways to insight real, positive and tangible changes.
No one can be perfect. When it comes to planet conservation we are all in a way hypocrites of our own fight for the planet. Changing the way we live in order to protect the planet shouldn't be viewed as a competition, but a journey (that realistically doesn't have an end point).
At 1 Million Women our aim is to make changes to our everyday life in order to empower women to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, not attack each other for not living in a forest, off the grid only growing our own food and our own cotton in order to sew our own clothes and eat only plants. This is a beautiful idea, but in essence if those of us who were passionate followed this way of living we would never have the ability to insight change in others and we sure wouldn't be able to be the ones in power making the changes.
In an ideal world Leonardo DiCpario wouldn't fly a private jet across the world to talk about the importance of climate change and to pressure governments and the world to make a promise to cut down emissions, however, if his efforts and his speech insight large countries to force businesses and governments to change the way they operate in order to cut down emissions then he is using his power and his privilege to save more energy than he ever could as a single human being.
When Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar the world was busy saying 'Finally!' they were of course talking about how many times he had been nominated and failed to win, DiCaprio used this platform to make a speech which he completely surrounded around climate change and the actions we need to take to slow it down. And it was here thought, 'Finally!' not at the fact that he won an Oscar, but the fact that finally the discussion of saving our planet was reaching the masses.
“Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastination.”- - Leonardo DiCaprio
We have to stop attacking one another for not being perfect. Because no one is. Someone who has decided to solar panel their home, install a grey water system and switch to only house made cleaning products that are planet healthy but still has aspects of their life that could be considered environmentally hypocritical are still doing something, they are still making an impact and conscious decision to change the world we live in.
In order to spread awareness and evoke change we will, on occasion,have to choose the lesser of two evils. Without modern technology we wouldn't be able to inform people of the damaging consequences that our convenience based lifestyles are having on our planet.
1 Million Women is empowering women and girls around the world to lower their impact on the planet. If you love what we do, please support our work by donating a couple of dollars. For the price of a cuppa, you can help us inspire millions more! (click to donate)
As a community of like-minded individuals who are concerned about our planet and believe in making sure we do our bit to preserve it we should be congratulating one another for every change made, after all thousands of small actions lead to big changes.
When it comes to celebrity endorsements, we need to see the greater value. Perhaps you don't follow celebrity culture, I'm not really sure how one 'keeps up with the Kardashians', but I do recognise that celebrities have the ability to influence the majority. The reason using voices that connect to the majority is so useful is because we need to reach those who aren't already on board, we could sit in a circle with everyone who is already fighting climate action or we could reach out to those who aren't yet, and build our community.
We should see the importance in actors like Leonardo DiCaprio using their fortune and public status to emphasise what we need to do to save the planet rather than endorse multi-national companies, I would rather the youth of today be looking up to people who are passionate even if their actions aren't perfect, because none of us are.
As soon as we start making radical changes to our lifestyle people start to rebut us with hypocrisy. Often when you tell someone you make your own DIY beauty products in order to cut down on waste, that you take shopping bags and refuse plastic bags, that you forgot your keep cup so will go without a coffee for the day they try and justify the fact that you shouldn't bother because; don't you still use a computer and smart phone? You're not a vegan so isn't it pointless? Don't you still use all the modern conveniences that the oil industry you condemn gave you?
The answer is that it would be impossible to live a completely waste free, energy free, technology free world in modern society, but that doesn't mean you can't live the most planet friendly lifestyle possible. Making changes to cut down on waste and energy consumption aren't cancelled out by the fact you're not perfect, every single change you make has a positive impact on slowing down climate change.
So please, next time Leonardo DiCaprio calls on the government to start taking serious actions in order to slow down climate change, every time Emma Watson stands up for the right for women to have a voice and be included in political discussions and every time Mark Ruffalo stands up against fracking understand that these voices are helping to mould the next generation of planet savers.
1 Million Women is more than our name; it's our goal! We're building a movement of strong, inspirational women acting on climate change by leading low-carbon lives. To make sure that our message has an impact, we need more women adding their voice. We need to be louder. Joining us online means your voice and actions can be counted. We need you.