In thinking about the way the world is going, specifically the environment, it’s very easy to skip straight to rage and dread. How is it so hard to see what waste we reap? Why isn’t everyone recycling everything? Who will save us all?
Then I remember: I’m a minority here, a potential early adopter in changing one’s life and lifestyle to think of the planet and future before myself. That’s ridiculous, I know, but even something like giving up meat for the majority of the week is a conscious choice I make in helping the planet (and it does help!!!). These things are easy and, yes, they are sacrifices. No one said life was easy and – Again. – this isn’t all about you (or me, for that matter).
It’s very easy to default to a hopelessness in this pursuit and I, like many publications and news outlets I’ve worked with, am losing my mind trying to figure out how to connect the problem with solutions in very real, non-preachy, anti-PETA sounding ways. Is there anything that can help?
Absolutely! And something like the recent Climate Optimist effort can help, a colorful, upbeat effort to a very serious subject from Futerra, The Climate Group, Mars (Yes, like M&M.), DisvestInvest, Ashden, and VF Corp. Their intention is to fight back all the shit in the world by looking toward unique, positive solutions instead of the constant head banging of “DO THIS. NOT THAT.” It’s wonderfully refreshing.
The approach is simple: frame climate change as a human rights fight based in science. The group cites figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and the suffragettes as proof that change can and will come after some time. Tides turn, intellectual resets occur. Things are quite doomy and gloomy at the moment but, yes, we’re in a growing pain: we’ll shake off the stupidity of consumption, greed, and waste in due time.
The group has very clear agendas and hopes but they’re also quite practical, zooming in on everyday good news that offers proof that change is happening. See? It’s not all bad. It’s not all about Donald Trump killing climate acts. It’s not all about Scott Pruitt making the EPA an oil lobby. It’s not all about cars killing the planet.
It’s also a deliciously fun, interactive approach too. For example: their Take Action page allows you to interact with how you’d like to reshape your life to be a climate optimist and then offers real, practical solutions. Yes, some are hippie, sure, but it comes with the territory. These are semi-necessary measures, yes.
In the scope of something as big as the planet, it’s easy to overlook a solar grid that looks like a panda or more electric cars as a blip in the grander scheme. But is it? Not really: it’s proof of change occurring. Small, yes, but all things are small at first. We have to keep on keeping on, sharing and discussing these matters, in order to change them. And it will change – in time. In our lifetime, hopefully, but definitely in the next generation’s. That, friends, is very exciting.