Well, another election has come and gone and, if you care about the environment and the future of the planet, it could be easy to feel overwhelmed with despair. What with our coal-loving Prime Minister getting re-elected; the Queensland government looking likely to approve the Adani disaster; rampant climate-deniers like Trump running the world's largest economy; and the recent news that one million of the world's species are now at risk of extinction... it's tempting to just throw your hands in the air and say, "What's the point?"
Personally, I believe that we get what we focus on, so I prefer to spend less of my time and energy focusing on all the terrible things that are wrong in the world and more on what I can do in my own life, right here and now, to help create the sort of future I want to see.
So here are a few suggestions you might like to try:
- Less is more - the easiest thing we can all do is simply to consume less. I know this goes against the global mantra of growth, Growth, GROWTH!, but isn't that what got us into this mess in the first place? For example we can:
- Find ways to use less energy (there are lots of tips on the internet);
- Make our homes more energy efficient or, better yet, downsize to a smaller one;
- Drive less (walk or bike more and enjoy the benefits of being outside getting exercise);
- Travel less (we live in a wonderful part of the world, do we really need to be constantly taking trips to other places?);
- Eat less (and maybe get healthier in the process);
- Buy less new stuff, send less old stuff to landfill.
- Turn off our TVs and devices and have positive interactions with the people and the world around us.
You might also consider getting active at the local level. If everyone focused on protecting and enhancing the natural environment in their own immediate vicinity then a lot of these overwhelming national and global problems might just disappear. Here are two things you can do in the next week that might help you to feel like there's hope for the world:
Come to the public meeting at the Bowral Memorial Hall on Friday, May 31 at 6pm aimed at protecting the Environment Levy Fund so, in the future, it is solely used for enhancing our natural habitats.
Come to the screening of "2040" at the Empire Cinema on Wednesday, June 5 at 6pm. This is a film by Damon Gameau about what a positive future could look like. I believe it is vital for all of us to start imagining a future that we would like to live in rather than the one shoved down our throats by most movies and TV shows, which is always depressing and often terrifying.
Imagining a beautiful future is the first step towards creating it, and is something we can all do without consuming anything and regardless of who is in power.