Like many of you and many of my fellow Snowplowers, climate change has been on my mind. Throughout the endless days of lockdown I’ve watched my way through every David Attenbourgh documentary (the man’s a national treasure!), read books, struggled my way through government reports and scrolled for hours across the internet for information. Always eager to identify the causes, effects, consequences, chances for survival and most importantly, what I can do to make a difference.
I’ve felt anger, fear, grief, gratitude, wonder and joy in equal measures and often, I’ve felt overwhelmingly helpless. So, when asked to write a blog post in celebration of Earth Day 2021, I decided I wanted to write some reminders for myself and anyone else who needs them.
Firstly, you are not alone! All over the world millions of wonderful people are stepping up to the challenge, through self-education, activism and innovation. Even within Snowplow, we have started a Snowplow-Green Slack channel to swap information, inspiration and practical tips. By reaching out to the people and communities around us we have the opportunity to amplify our individual actions and develop a resilient platform from which we can hold governments and businesses accountable for the urgent reforms we and our planet so desperately need.
Secondly, the solutions are often easier and more beneficial socially and economically than we can imagine. Large scale rewilding projects require only minimal human input but have huge potential to power carbon capture and provide a financial boost to struggling rural communities. Similarly, simply ensuring girls and women have access to a full education will empower them to make lower emission lifestyle choices, have increased economic resilience to climate disaster and to become leaders in the climate change movement in both local and international communities.
Thirdly and finally, the easiest thing you can do to help our planet is to get outdoors. We are a society that has lost its connection to nature, we spend around 90% of our time indoors, our days staring at screens and our lives raising children who can identify Pokémon more accurately than local bird species. If we aren’t able to embrace the joy and beauty of our local environments or recognise how essential nature is for our economic, mental and physical wellbeing we cannot drive the deep, long-term changes needed to save our planet. We all can and must play a part in caring for our planet and we can all start today.
If you want to do one thing to celebrate Earth Day today, look up from your screen and outside your window or stand up from your desk and take a walk outside. Take a moment to stop, look and listen to the life around you and just breathe. There are so many reasons to hope for a better and greener future than we have ever known, we just have to give a damn.