Climate Strike? Maybe, maybe not.
It has warmed my heart to see Greta Thunberg challenge the adults in this last year to gain global attention on the climate problem. She doesn’t smile much. She is direct. She doesn’t care if you like her, yet I do like this kid and so do many others.
The kids who will inherit the mistakes of previous generations are finally demanding action. Soon they will be voting too. It all culminated (so far) in a school strike that reached 4 million people worldwide last Friday, September 20, 2019. Upcoming strikes are expected to reach greater numbers as more people join the protest and working adults begin to join the students.
Unfortunately, most people with jobs can’t simply skip work the same way a student may be able to skip classes. This means that there are many people who support the sentiment of the #FridaysForFuture but can not show up in person. What meaningful things can we do to show support if we can’t attend?
In the story 7 things you can do if you can’t do a Climate Strike, writer Lloyd Alter offers up 7 ways that you can participate. There are many more. Here are 8 additional things you can do:
- Support striking students: give your kids permission to miss classes if they want to go to a rally. Beyond helping them to make up lost class time, help them by understanding how important this issue is to their generation. Help them make signs and empower them to demand action from the officials that represent them.
- Encourage them and help them to vote. Many kids are old enough to vote but aren’t registered or don’t have an easy way to get there. Generally speaking, most teens are not Greta Thunberg and while they know what they should do, are somewhat apathetic and might not make the effort. The easy cop out is the statement “all politicians are the same”. If you hear someone say this, challenge it and give them examples of leaders who are actually focussed on making the planet better.
- Plant trees and organize others to do the same. Many experts feel that planting trees are the best way to mitigate the effects of climate change. In the Philippines every person must plant 10 trees in order to graduate from elementary school. Imagine the impact this could make if it were rolled out to all countries.
- Support schools and teachers that support climate action. Let them know that you value their work and that they should continue on with science based education.
- Buy an EV. Instead of purchasing a gasoline-powered vehicle, make your next one an EV. Advances in battery technology have provided electric cars with much greater range, meaning most people can commute to work several times on one charge. In two car homes, the second vehicle can often be replaces with a battery-powered version – it saves money on gas too!
- Eliminate or reduce single use plastic. Plastic is everywhere and often comprises the majority of waste that leaves the average North American home. Carbon is created during the manufacturing and transportation of plastic and released as is degrades over time. Plastic pollution in rivers, lakes and oceans is enough justification to eliminate it, but it is now being found in our food and even in our children’s bodies.
- Eat your leftovers. Estimates are that 30% of food is wasted and uneaten. When you consider how much carbon goes into the production, packaging and transportation of food, even a small reduction of waste makes considerable impact.
- Wait to buy your next phone/computer. Technology companies have done a great job manipulating us into the cycle of “must have the new one” when it comes to technology like iPhone or tablet computers. In my experience the joy only lasts a few hours. Shortly after unboxing the new device, it’s just another phone and really hasn’t made my life any better. If the old one is still working fine keep it (and your hard earned dollars) in your pocket.
This is just a small list and there are many more things a person can do in their home or office to show solidarity to these kids. It is time to step up and do your part. More than ever the old adage appears to be true: you are either part of the solution or part of the problem. It is time to tip the scales in the right direction.
In other top happy eco news stories, a new milestone in fossil fuel divestment has been reached with $11 trillion removed from investment in these polluting companies. I find it interesting that the top story again this week is about the financial aspects of climate change. People understand that the big changes are starting to occur and the only way to beat the companies (and power brokers that run them) is by taking away their money. In another story, plastic bags are increasingly being banned in countries around the world (many of them in developing nations), a story about environmental wins provides hope for a small grass roots environmental action group in Canada and how seaweed farming for carbon sequestration can augment tree planting and help reduce the effects of global warming.
4) Seaweed Farming Could Help Battle Climate Change https://happyeconews.com/2019/09/18/seaweed-farming-could-help-battle-climate-change/