Yes, you believe in climate change. Yes, you know we should act as we do not have much time left. Yes, you attended the climate rally with your friends. Yes, you BYO and be as sustainable as you can. And it all made sense. People around you are equally concerned about climate change and are demanding action.
You believed so but, you see comments on others mocking what you believe in. You see comments of others laughing at what you do. You see others jumping conclusions about you. Then, the eco anxiety, anger or dejection might start to kick in and you wonder “Why do they not care at all?” and “How can they not see what is in front of them”.
Seeing so much controversial, drama and argument revolving around climate change lately, it felt right to share with you how to be realistic about sustainability and what got me through the past 8 years and counting.
Face It. Not Everyone Will Stand With You.
The very first thing that you need to come to terms with is that not everyone will believe in climate change and they will not something about it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but honestly, this is how the real world works.
You can present all the facts, the science and get them to witness the drastic change in temperature. But they will still continue taking that plastic bag, supporting fast fashion and wasting water. And, you cannot do anything about it.
As much as you want to convince everyone that climate change is real and they should start doing something about it, you need to know and acknowledge the fact that some people will not care to the very last day of the earth. You need to come to terms with this.
Name an issue that the whole world came together to agree on it and did something about it. It is hard to think of it, isn’t it?
Respect Others’ Decision.
Nobody likes to be told what to do and you should respect the decisions of others because ultimately, it is their life they are leading after all. You can continue to share and pressure them as much as you can, and all you get is a conflicted and strained relationship. Some may get offended when they regard your sharing as being preachy and will shun you after that.
You will come to realise that just because we believe strongly about conserving the environment and are doing everything we can to conserve it, it does not mean that others will feel the same. It also definitely does not mean that we are better than others just because we are conserving the environment.
Respect the fact that everyone makes their own decision in life and sometimes there is honestly nothing you can do to change them.
Look Deeper Into The Surface
It is always easier to say “xxx should have done this”, “xxx should have done that”. It is always easier to blame others for not doing enough. But it is only when you are in that person’s point of view then you would realise that making decisions as individuals, businesses, organisations and even governmental bodies is not as easy as ABC.
Every action taken might involve a wide range of stakeholders and one significant action might lead to the rise or fall of an industry. As stakeholders, our power is to raise issues to organisations and let them know our concerns.
Be supportive, bring suggestions to the table, offer your insights and expertise. You might be surprised that sometimes these organisations are clueless and where and how to start and might just need your idea or suggestion to kick start something. Remember, one step is always better than no action taken.
Use your power as a consumer to show your support. When you support an ethical company, it speaks a lot about what you are rooting for and how you want organisations to transform their current way of doing things.
Have Hope and Take Action
Yes, you can feel sad, angry or dejected for those who do not believe strongly in what you believe. All the above points might make you feel helpless and fall into that spiral of hopelessness. Then what? Don’t mope in that sadness. Instead, turn that dejection into motivation.
It shows you how much more work needs to be done to conserve the environment and drive the awareness about sustainability. Be encouraging to those who are curious about sustainability.
Take a gentle approach. Take concrete action. Take steps to help people learn more. Your power of influence might have an effect on them. Trust us, it does sometimes.
Do whatever you can to change people’s point of view and perspective. But never force them into it. Be a positive influence of change. Be an example that people can look to. Lead by example.
Sustainability is a tricky issue because ultimately whatever you do and every action you take will have an impact on the environment. But at the end of the day, you can proudly say that you tried your best by doing ________.
Ultimately, we are not here to preach anyone on what they should be doing. We are here to offer a little perspective on how we observed things go in the real world and the solution I believe strongly in.
Take action. Just take action and do your own thing to have an impact and make substantial influence in your community.
You need to remember that sooner or later, the current generation will be taking over leadership positions in various firms and industries. By then, we should be ready to be able to make wise informed decisions for Mother Earth.