How can an individual make an impact on climate change?

A Uni student doing an assignment on Sustainability approached me recently with this question. At first I thought I’d be able to reel off a lot of ideas. But even after preparing some detailed notes before our interview, my thoughts didn’t flow easily. So I decided to have a second go at answering –  in writing – this question (that all of us get asked regularly) :

WHAT TO DO – in the outer world?

Take CARE of yourself: be well-fed, well-rested, well-exercised

Grow FOOD, bring others with you in this

Build COMMUNITY consciously by sharing common interests

Minimize WASTE, including packaging. Join a composting arrangement

Consume CONSCIOUSLY, acquire only what you need

Use your MONEY strategically – DIVEST from fossil fuels

Join SUPPORT groups, value sharing your experience with others in a similar situation

Build PEOPLE POWER by collaborating with others

Debrief and plan, using LISTENING PARTNERSHIPS (confidential swapping of time allowing pairs to express and be heard fully without interruption or comment)

Question and challenge the ECONOMIC SYSTEM and CONSUMPTION, seek out local economy activities

Respect and learn from INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES on stewardship of the earth

Understand issues of INEQUALITY and climate injustice. Connect these systemic problems with the BEHAVIOURS AND FEELINGS of individuals

Use REFLECTION to become aware of what DRIVES us as individuals (greed, fear, hopelessness, despair, rage, joy, love, hope) and listening partnerships to process these feelings

AGITATE governments and industries, don’t remain silent


HOW TO BE – in our inner world?

Get into new HABITS, be open to other ways of doing things

Hold ATTITUDES that support your engagement with the situation we’re in (hope, optimism, empowerment, appreciation, valuing self and others)

Remember your PASSION for creating a better world (when did you feel this as a young one?)

Overcome NEGATIVITY in yourself; create or find a foundation of ethics, sociality, creativity, collaboration

CONNECT with people – be interested in everyone – they might turn out to be your best ally

Get ALONGSIDE others – collaborate, inspire, follow – this multiplies our energy and impact

Use tools for RESILIENCE as an individual and in groups

Include everyone in the setting you find yourself in; build on commonalities to create pop-up COMMUNITIES

Kit Shepherd, Convenor Transition Bondi Oct 2018