Stop Feeling Guilty about Waste, Climate Change and Consumerism
I've heard from many heartfelt empathetic friends about how they feel guilty about plastic, recycling, consumerism, driving, taking plane rides etc. It's frustrating and as individuals we can often feel powerless.
It may help to remember the following:
1) You inherited a badly designed system (very efficient for food supply, terrible for waste)
2) Those responsible for the vast majority of emissions and plastic waste would much rather see individual consumers take the blame and soak up the guilt rather than transforming the logistics and packaging of food
3) Reusable plastic bags are a small step in the right direction but either 1) the govt, or 2) major food suppliers + supermarkets need to fully overhaul the whole thing for real change to occur
If you really want to have an impact as an individual here are some quick ideas (unfortunately most involve money but small amounts of money + long-term thinking is how individuals can actually make a difference) :
- open an index fund investment account or bank term deposit, call it the "tree fund", put some money in their each week and in 5/10 years invest it all into an efficient tree-planting initiative.
- start a charity/trust that pools the money of a bunch of people and purchases old-growth rainforest with the sole purpose holding it / protecting it rather than cutting it down
- invest in any number of the new small green-technology startups that are finding incredible solutions to our problems
- volunteer for tree planting / ocean cleanup / green tech companies
In addition to this, it's crucial to vote for who you think would do the most for whatever environmental causes you care about and when it’s not election time write letters, sign petitions and talk to MPs.
You are not powerless and it's not your fault.