I’m super excited to be sharing with you a guest post from Katt, an incredible girl who dedicates most of her free time caring for our oceans and encouraging other people to do the same. She has some written up some great tips below that we can all start today to make a huge impact on the health of our seas. Check it out below and go follow her on insta @vegandiverkatt !
The Environmental Crisis and What You Can Do
I don’t know about you, but when I look at the expanse of stars stretching out above me, with thousands of individual pinpricks of lights twinkling from the black carpet of the sky, I feel very small. One tiny person sitting on some beach or grass, in one town, in one country, on one continent on our one planet earth. I have yet to find the words to describe this feeling of intense tininess and irrelevance. In moments like that, it’s easy to think that the actions of one, will not matter. Whatever happens, the earth will keep turning and life will continue.
With the dictionary definition of :
“The realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.”
It is a feeling I often get when people watching in cafes, looking out of my balcony or simply taking a moment in a crowded part of town. Everyone here is in a hurry, has worries, has their whole life perspective shaped by their own eyes.
Simultaneously, we are miniscule and insignificant and at the same time over running our earth. We may feel like individual choices we make do not create a difference in the grand scheme of things. However if we consider the trickle down effect, individual choices can suddenly become enormous.
Have you heard the story of the ancient Indian man, Rani, who asked for rice as payment for his work for the Raja? It’s a mathematical folktale by Demi. He asked, that for a duration of thirty days, starting with one grain of rice on day one, the rice amount would be doubled every day. This was his prize for performing a good deed. The Raja had laughed and “conceded” to this seemingly ridiculous request. 1 turned into 2, 2 turned into 4, 4 turned into 8 grains of rice. However by the 9th day, they had to give him two hundred and fifty-six grains of rice. By the 24th day, they were scouring the palace for rice, they needed to give him eight million three hundred and eighty-eight thousand, six hundred and eight grains of rice–enough to fill eight baskets, which were carried to her by eight royal deer. It so continued that by the end, the seemingly hilarious request ended up with Rani having over 1 billion grains of rice. And by the end, all of India was indebted to this man.
This is the way I like to think about our choices and actions. We may make 1 small change, however at least two of our peers might notice it and adapt to it. Two of each of their peers might also make the change : whether this is to carry a reusable water bottle, buy a bamboo toothbrush or eat less meat. So today, I wanted to share with you some of the ways humans impact our plants and how you can make a difference. So here are some things that make up the environmental crisis, and what you can do.
- Plastic In Our Environment
This one has been all over the news recently, terrifying scenes of Bali and seas of plastic have flooded our screens and outraged environmentalists and other people alike. 1 ton of plastic enters our oceans every single minute, which is roughly the equivalent of one garbage truck directly dumping its contents into the sea. 80% of the garbage found in the ocean comes from landfills and heavily populated metropolitan areas, mostly from the 20% of the least developed countries.
What you can do :
- Bamboo toothbrush! (Save up to 20 plastic toothbrushes a year entering the landfill)
- Say no to the straw. 36 school buses worth of plastic straws end are used every day.
- Get a reusable water bottle
- Coffee Keep Cup
- Canvas or material bags
- GUPPYFRIEND. It stops microfibres from synthetic clothing entering oceans
This is a big one, and unfortunately, the exact statistics are well hidden under the pretense of our enormous dependence on pesticides. In fact, there are methods, which by mimicking nature, we can completely eliminate the need for chemical or even organic based pesticides. Ocean deadzone’s exist at every mouth of every major river, where pesticides from surrounding agriculture streams out.
What you can do :
- Start your own vegetable garden. Food is free!
- Talk to the farmers at your local markets, find out what they use!
- Look into regenerative, agroforestry, beyond organic farms.
- Get into Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
This is an enormous one, and covers everything from fast fashions ( did you know companies like H&M aim to have new clothing every time you enter the store meaning you’re always out of style), food waste, throw away culture and just about everything about consumerism. In Australia alone, 6000kg of clothing is dumped in the landfill every minute. A third of all food produced for humans is wasted.
What you can do
- Invest in good quality, staple clothing pieces which will last you years.
- Taste/smell your food before trusting the sell by date.
- TAKE THE SINGLE LONELY BANANA. (Statistically it is the one which is most likely to get wasted)
- Get your clothes at second hand stores
- Learn how to sew or fix your things, otherwise, find one of these cool fix it cafes!
- Decrease your environmental footprint
The idea of an environmental footprint was first mentioned to mein third grade, when I went to the WWF. Here, they made us do a footprint calculator, to see how many “earths” we would need if all the 6 billion people would live like me. You would input your type of residence, transport, nutrition, travel, energy needs and similar and the website would pop out a nice little animation of 1.5 Earths (or whichever answer you got). I remember being quite shocked by my result and ever since then I did all the things that were suggested to me : I rode my bike or public transport, I turned my tap off while brushing my teeth, I kept my showers short, I always turned off the light. However, in recent years more and more information has come out, how those small acts really do not amount to much if you have the enormous demand on our planet from your diet.
What You Can Do
- Still ride your bike and take public transport and all the other things.
- Try and fly less, airplanes are extremely carbon negative
- Plant some trees. There are plenty of organizations you can donate to to plant trees through, or just get out there and do it yourself!
- Stop eating meat! Watch Cowspiracy to understand the enormity of the environmental footprint of meat.
- Become a locavore. Don’t make your food travel miles, just eats what local and in season : it will be better for your health as well.
- Consume less. Of clothing, new electronics, the newest fads.
5. Lack of Education
Now this one covers an enormous amount of the problems in our planet. Recently I was speaking to someone who believed a good way to preserve biodiversity was to bring in a lion into the ecosystem. Not quite sure how it works, however there are so many well intentioned people which are misinformed by their schools, governments, word of mouth or simply ideas. You will see people with pet cats they love dearly which unfortunately endanger ecosystems in Australia/NZ by killing endemic species. There are people who simply have no idea about the enormous consequences of eating meat, using single use containers, or buying new clothes.
What you can do:
- Talk about these issues, share them with one or two of your peers.
- Pick your favourite cause and believe in it. Lead by example and others will follow.
- Contact your old school about giving a presentation about that cause
- Get involved in online communities, they’re wonderful for support and ideas
- Stay curious and sceptic. Question everything and make the best decisions you can!
The problems our world is facing are enormous, every direction you look you will be faced with war, pollution, hunger and extinction. While the earth and life on earth will continue far long after we make it uninhabitable for us, humans. We might take down many of the glorious species we know and love today. I want to see my children see the coral reefs, so that is why I try and do little things which will add up to all the grains of rice in the world.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, if you have, you’re already well on your way to helping save our oceans and our planet. If you have any ideas I missed on this list, please write me a comment or contact me on my website : www.myveganexperiment.com. I would love to hear from you!