It feels a bit like living in two parallel universes at the moment.
I keep hearing the views of people who have been energised by COP26. People who have long valued the environment and hoped for a fairer society. People who have been motivated by the recent focus of media, conversation and debate to speak louder and act more on what they value and hope for. A neighbour who was particularly affected by the stories of global inequality in the impacts of climate change. The managing director of a local company who has amplified his voice to call for businesses to step up and change, and not wait for the government to act. A business leader who is investing her energy into inspiring her community. She’s set a buy-less challenge for 2022, inspiring and supporting the people in her network to take action. The enthusiasm and determination I hear from people is growing and contagious.
But at the same time, there is the business as usual universe. Where the news is far from inspiring. Where inequality and a lack of action feel like the norm. Where purchasing is king. The Buy! Buy! Buy! of Black Friday. The ramp up to the festive season. The pressures of finding the perfect gifts, of cooking and decorating. The sea of plastic tatt coming at us in party bags and packaging. And a printer on the blink which mean I may soon hear those dreaded words “it’s much cheaper to buy a new one”.
To make changes in the way we live our lives, to visualise a different future and work to get there requires energy and commitment. When we are surrounded by neighbours, businesses or friends who are similarly motivated, action becomes possible. Not easy, but easier than going alone. Easier than feeling like the only voice. In the business as usual world, we can feel like the odd one out for caring about others and the planet. But you’re not the odd one out. By connecting with others who share the vision for a healthier planet and society, we can focus our energy on action and positive impact.
This week I’ll open the Reduce your Footprint membership for the first time. I’ll be providing insights from the world of conservation social science – where experts are researching the best ways for us all to step up. There will be chances to connect with others who are also ready to take action and want some support to do it. There won’t be any shoulds, musts or have tos. This will be a place where I provide you with the tools to identify the changes you could make in your life. And the support to help you focus your energy on making those changes happen. If you want to know more subscribe here and you’ll be the first to hear when the doors open.