We all say that we are making an effort to cut carbon emissions but I was thinking today about what changes I still have to make, not just in lifestyle but in taking direct action. I like to think that I’m being less wasteful aswell as producing less carbon emissions, sometimes it’s also good to remember that most of the actions we take will also save us money and give us a better quality of life.
We are living in an age of guilt, we are constantly being made to feel bad for our lifestyle and actions, as important as this is guilt is not a advisable starting point for any change. Don’t feel guilty, feel as if you are making a difference, feel good about the steps you are taking not bad about the life you used to live.
I would say that one of my worst carbon crimes is feeling guilty and then imparting that on my family in the form of criticism. “Do you know how much CO2 emissions leaving that light on causes.”, etc. A better way to deal with this would be to say “Think of the money we will save, by doing this, which we can spend on a day out.”
Instead of thinking how bad we have been in the past for using air travel to go on holiday, think about what you have been missing at home, holidays are about taking time out and spending time with the family. Do you really want the stress of getting up at 5am to go to the airport to sit round a pool all day? when you could be spending it with relations or visiting a part of the country you have never been to before. Most of my best holidays were spent here in England in a caravan not eighty miles from where I lived.
The media is partly to blame as they normally take the pessimistic viewpoint. Telling us the worst case scenarios instead of showing the people who are living with a lower carbon footprint so we can lead by example. So many articles and reports claim statistics or give you the opportunity of lowering your carbon footprint by 5% or 10%, which hardly makes people feel like it makes any difference at all.
I don’t want you to think that I don’t take it seriously and I am constantly trying to rethink ways to simplify my life with the minimum of stress. What I want to change is our attitude towards climate change, our worst climate crime is a forced feeling of guilt, instead of acting because of a feeling of guilt acting with a feeling of making a difference, we should feel good that we are changing the way we all live for the future. This will be the generation that will have to make a difference lets do that with a positive mental attitude, rather than a negative one.