By Kelsey Smith
CERES Outreach Educator
Season of Hope for Sustainability or Bah, Humbug! The Pressures of a Negative World
Something I’ve been noticing recently is that everyone seems to be feeling much the same – overwhelmed with the state of the world. It seems to be caused by the constant negativity in the media, elected officials who represent us badly, and the uncountable number of stories filling newsfeeds about environmental degradation, social injustices and species on the brink of collapse (including us!). It makes you feel as though the actions we’ve taken in our own lives aren’t nearly enough to affect the bigger issues.
I don’t believe that for a second.
I’m not going to focus on those “bad” things because we’re coming into the holiday season and what is this time of year if not the Season of Hope? No, I’m going to tell you about a few of my personal favourite pieces of positivity. A reminder that there are small (and big!) wins happening everywhere. That those small changes you’ve made in your personal lives ARE making a difference – and will continue to do so.
Yuletide positivity – Australian focus
So, what are these little pieces of positivity to “yuletide” you over and warm the heart? My personal favourites from our beautiful backyard are –
- Baw baw breeders – Zoos Victoria have cracked another world-first in 2018: successfully breeding critically endangered Baw Baw frogs in captivity!
- The Last Straw campaign – over 400 venues across Australia have committed to using less/none at all plastic straws. Check out this story on 10-year old Molly in Cairns, getting Council to ban straws in their operations
- Sustainable salons – Many salons in Australia (and around the world!) are choosing to become sustainable
- World’s biggest lithium-ion battery in South Australia! – big enough to power 30,000 homes!
- Huge funding boost for the Great Barrier Reef – $500million dollars has been set aside to removes pests, tackle pollution and breed more resilient coral.
Still not convinced? Alright, let’s take this international –
I could keep going, but with a truly sustainable spirit – “less is more”.
Spreading the gift of positivity
Now, I fully acknowledge that in some cases it’s difficult to see the direct link between you using green shopping bags and its impact on a sustainable hair salon. The trick to it is that there isn’t a direct link – it’s the power of the voice. It’s thousands of individuals, within thousands of communities making small changes across the globe, causing tiny ripples in society that eventually build so much pressure they become waves. The beautiful thing about oceans is they are bound by tidal change where they ebb and flow – but they never stop making waves. As changemakers, we need to keep applying pressure and keep the waves moving even as society ebbs and flows with interest.
What you’re doing at home? Trust me, it counts.
So there you have it, some wins to rekindle your hope and reignite the passion towards creating a more sustainable world. As we move through the holidays and into the new year keep these little pieces of positivity with you. Remember that your choices and actions do have power and they do matter – maybe you just can’t see it yet.
Wondering how you can make some simple changes in your life to help create a more sustainable future? Or wanting to give more ethical gifts this year? Check out these infographics for some simple ideas.