- Angela Costigan
All or Nothing.
Fear. There is a lot of it going around at the moment. Particularly if you live in Australia, like I do and you've been watching your country burn for the past month.
I've been thinking about this for quite a while and in my opinion, the most debilitating kind of fear is -
The Fear of Being Judged.
The Fear of Being Judged stops you in your tracks. It stops you pursuing your dreams, acting on your beliefs, speaking up, sharing your values. It stops you making a change. It almost stopped me writing this blog.
And goodness gracious me, it is SO easy to judge people - even your friends - on social media.
The Fear of Being Judged is a subtle little fear. It lurks in the background of every unconscious thought you have.
In my opinion, this fear poses the greatest risk to our planet. Second only to apathy and ignorance.
I became aware of this fear when I started to transition to vegetarism.
I'd say to my husband, 'I can't tell people I don't eat pork or red meat because they'll judge me for still eating chicken!'
Then I started judging myself about it. 'I shouldn't be consuming any dairy either because what about the bobby calfs that are slaughtered in the process?'
More random judgements -
- 'How can I support zoos when I'm so vehemently against dolphins and other cetaceans in captivity. Who am I to say there's a difference?' (But honest to goodness, there IS a difference, but given this dot point isn't even about climate change, I'll leave that there).
- 'How can people still keep buying take away coffee without a reusable cup?'
- 'Look at everyone buying fruit wrapped in plastic! What's the point of bringing reusable bags if they're going to do that?'
- 'So much needless consumerism at Christmas time! Look at all this crap in the shops!'
- 'Everyone complains about recyclables going into landfill, but how many people actually BUY items made from recycled material?'
But you know what?
- Sometimes I eat meat. Most of the time now, I don't.
- I think some zoos are fine, and that others aren't. My opinion might change on this over time, I don't know.
- Most of the time, I won't buy coffee if I've forgotten my cup, but sometimes I REALLY need it, so I buy it anyway.
- I brought reusable produce bags for fruit and vegetables, but sometimes I leave them at home accidentally.
- I brought a whole tonne of that 'consumerism crap' for my kids at Christmas. But it was less than I did the previous year.
- These days I only buy toilet paper and paper towels made from recycled materials (please go to https://au.whogivesacrap.org and consider ordering from them, costs about the same, super convenient, all good things), but I still buy normal tissues and the like.
I'm not perfect, so I shouldn't expect others to be. Especially when it comes to climate change. Far out, it's enough of a battle just getting some people to admit it exists!
I read the most brilliant quote the other day, it said something like,
‘We don’t need a handful of people doing climate change perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.’
Amen to that.
So screw, 'all or nothing.' Stop judging yourself and others.
Play your part, whatever that is.
Just do SOMETHING.
Be brave enough to make a change, educate yourself and don't judge yourself for what you used to do.
When you know better, you do better - Maya Angelou
And be kind and compassionate to others who are playing their part.
Don't judge people for what they're NOT doing - applaud them for what they ARE doing.
And then maybe, just maybe, more people will feel comfortable sharing what their part is. And maybe, all those parts will come together to form a planet that is whole and healed.
And on that note....
If you're looking to make a small change, but are not sure where to start, here are some ideas...(and clearly I receive no financial incentive for mentioning the below, I'm not a Kardashian)
1) Can you believe in 2020 we still cut down trees to wipe our....???? Ridiculous.
Solution - Who Gives a Crap. https://au.whogivesacrap.org. Toilet paper, paper towels, tissues. All recycled, delivered to your door every six weeks or whenever, AND 50% of profits help build toilets around the world.
2) Most of those cafe take away coffee cups can't be recycled!
Solution - Buy a 'Keep Cup'. I have one from www.jococups.com and www.frankgreen.com.au but there is no end to the brands out there.
3) Putting fruit and vegetables in those plastic bags at the supermarket is madness. I still can't believe my supermarket has a WHOLE AISLE of plastic packaged fruit. It's criminal. Especially if the fruit has it's own natural packaging! Bananas, avocados, oranges etc.
Solution - Don't buy the pre-wrapped fruit and invest in some reusable produce bags. Google it. I have some from Ever Eco and Greensacks.
Bonus points - Speak up (without fear of being judged!) regarding the plastic wrapped fruit at the counter/service desk.
4) Try and eat less meat.
There I've said it.
Even if you cut meat out of one meal a day - a week - it WILL have a positive environmental impact.
Thanks for your time :)