Can you cut 1 Tonne of carbon pollution out of your life?Take the challenge
Before I started writing for 1 Million Women I was just hell-bent on getting a job where I got to write all day.
I felt like I'd struck gold when I got the phone call to say I'd got the job. I became their Social Media & Website Coordinator – which basically means I handle Instagram, the Facebook community, and I write cool articles for you guys all day.
Before I started writing for 1 Million Women I wasn't all that concerned with the environment:
I didn't think at all about what makes 'organic chicken' organic. I never gave much thought to where my plastic waste went after I'd thrown it out. I was like any other uni student, fresh out of an Arts degree and hungry for a job wherever I could get it. I didn't feel I had the time, nor the financial means to be an "eco-friendly warrior", a "greenie" or a "climate change activist." It seemed like a lot of effort.
Before I started writing for 1 Million Women I thought nothing would make me go vegetarian:
At work I go through a lot of websites, trawling the deep parts of the web for information, new content and watching a lot of videos about the impacts of climate change. I've come across information that I never wish to read about again. I've seen images that I'm pretty traumatised by – but ultimately I'm more informed about the meat industry. I'm not a vegetarian, but now I think twice before buying it and have reduced the amount of meat I consume (which was never that much to begin with).
Before I started writing for 1 Million Women I never thought about ethical and ecological fashion:
I mean, I knew about sweatshops and that there were unjust practices in place, but I never knew the extent. Going to Fashion Week, seeing the screening of the documentary The True Cost, and learning what Fashion Revolution was all about really opened my eyes to the absolutely shocking and disgusting abuse of human rights that sweatshop workers experience every day, and also the tolls that the fashion industry has on our environment. Now I know, and I consider these issues and the better choices available every time I make a clothing purchase.
Growing up my parents were very strict on material wealth. Kids up the street from us had every new toy that was released under the sun, but we had only the things we needed. The kids up the street grew up having everything they asked for - essentially they aren't too aware of the value of the dollar, and they certainly aren't aware of the environmental impact of having more crap than you know what to do with.
After I started writing for 1MW I recognized just how detrimental it can be to ignore the little things:
- Buying your kids more than they need
- Throwing out food because it "doesn't look nice"
- Buying bottled water when you've got drink bottles in the cupboard at home
Why do we do this stuff? Why did I do it? I can think back to times where I was a completely broke student, and all the things I could have done to save money. The point I'm making here is that a change of perspective is all we need.
Yes, there are climate change skeptics. Yes, there are meat-eaters. Yes, there will always be methane released into the atmosphere, one way or another. But does that mean we shouldn't try? Does that mean we should just rest on our laurels and leave environmentalism and particularly climate change action to the 'hippies' and the 'greenies'? Absolutely not.
After I started working for 1 Million Women I've become a better human for the planet:
I don't buy bottled water if I can help it. I lecture my friends if they litter. I recycle everything I can. I never ever waste food. It's happening in small ways, but I'm noticing things I never noticed before. Someone's dirty car exhaust fumes, people in restaurants who leave a meal half-eaten, or a storm water drain overflowing with plastic.
It happens in the smallest of ways, but being a better human for our planet is all it needs from us. Be nicer to the planet than you were yesterday – that's all it takes to make change.
Did you buy bottled water yesterday? That's okay. Take a reusable water bottler with you today.
Did you spend too much time in the shower today? That's okay, just take a shorter one tomorrow. You don't need to work for 1 Million Women to understand what it takes to be better for our world. You just need to read this and take something away, no matter how big or small.
World Environment Day is this Friday, if you haven't considered the environment before, why not start there?
What you can do
Reduce wasting food by managing it better every day
Up to 30% of food we buy is wasted, at an estimated national cost of $5 billion-plus a year. Cut down on waste by not letting food go out of date, avoiding over-catering and looking after any leftovers.