Okay, so we’re at a tough spot with this climate change business. If you believe in science and think about it too much, it can be rather horrifying. All of that makes it easy to default to a defeatist point of view thinking “I’m just one person and we’re so far gone. What difference can I even make?”
While I would love to make an eloquent statement, this is better left to writer James Baldwin, a Civil Rights Activist, who said “not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” While this statement applies to so many situations it is particularly relevant here and now.
Ideally, we would all drive electric vehicles, be vegetarian (eating vegetables grown in our backyard garden, fertilized through our own composting efforts), living in our tiny houses wearing clothes we made by hand from organic materials provided by the farm down the road, and on and on. But that simply isn’t reality. And we cannot beat ourselves up for the creature comforts we have grown accustomed to and have been groomed to appreciate and covet. Anyway, have you seen how expensive electric cars are?? Though, I suppose, in an ideal state we would all live so close to work that we could travel there by bicycle or something, but I digress…
Even if every single one of those situations were feasible, and even if it could happen, it wouldn’t happen overnight. So, what is a person to do? Be mindful of your choices. Be intentional about your actions. Skip the meat a night or two a week. Try to eliminate single-use plastics. When you could walk instead of taking the car, choose the walk (your heart will thank you). Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Purchase more things locally instead of ordering online. Bring your thermostat up a couple of degrees in the summer and down a couple of degrees in the winter; even better get a programmable thermostat that will adjust for you when you aren’t home.
The point is not that all of these ideas will fix the climate crisis, but the point IS that you, as a unique individual, can indeed make a difference through your actions. A world population acting in perfect harmony with the environment is not reality and masses of imperfect people trying their best will make much better strides than a few that are doing this perfectly. Keep trying and keep improving – you and your efforts are what the world needs now.