| Easy Advice for Young People on Getting Involved with Climate Action |
When you’re constantly bombarded with scary stories of wildfires, natural disasters, and the potential impending apocalypse, it can be really daunting to think about getting involved with climate change or to believe that your actions can make any difference. Although monumental change may seem out of our grasp, there are still a lot of things that we can all do to help!
A big part of the reason why I built this platform was to raise awareness about sustainability, especially within the Bahamian community and among young people. As cheesy as it may sound to say (forgive me), young people really are the future and we’re going to have to be the ones to use our knowledge, innovation, and talents to be the changes that we want to see.
So, if you’re looking for a starter guide on living a more sustainable lifestyle or advice on getting involved in your community, you’re in the right place. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have to be as big of a chore as you might think!
This may seem like a given answer but you will be surprised at the power of learning! One of the main problems surrounding the climate agenda isn’t only the fact that people don’t care about it but it’s also that people don’t know enough to understand why they should care. Read some blogs, keep up to date with current events, or maybe even follow some pages or hashtags on social media that discuss sustainability (there are a lot out there)! I think that you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information online on this topic and, even further, the more that you learn, the more that you will be able to spread the word and educate others.
Join a Club!
If you’re a student, there is more than likely a sustainability or eco-friendly club at your school (shoutout Columbia EcoReps! @columbia.ecoreps). Those will be the places where you can further your educational journey and get involved with organizing fundraisers or demonstrations or events to help to spread the word across your campus. Even if you don’t want to commit to joining the club full time, go to some of their events! It doesn’t hurt to show up and have an open-mind to see what the club has to offer. If you are not on a school campus, there still may be organizations in your city that you can join (check out Keep Grand Bahama Clean!) that host sustainability events and promote making a difference in your community.
Make Some Changes to Your Diet!
I know this is going to be the topic where people start to tune out but PLEASE HEAR ME OUT! Nobody (least of all me!) is telling you that you have to stop eating meat and dairy altogether. Even in my friend groups where I make jokes about my vegetarianism, I’ll never be one to force people to go vegan or vegetarian. I’m also not telling you to break the bank by completely changing your diet because I know that may not be easily accessible for everyone. At the end of the day, your body and your pockets are entirely up to you!
With that disclaimer out of the way, what I am encouraging, however, is for people to at least be a lot more open-minded about the millions of great plant-based (and affordable) alternatives that you can look into! There have been so many occasions where I have gotten my friends to try vegan BeyondMeat burgers and, after pushing aside their skepticism, they loved them and couldn’t even tell the difference! So, reducing your meat/dairy consumption could be as simple as opting for plant based alternatives one day a week (like a meatless monday), not eating meat with one of your meals in the day, or maybe just trying out some cool vegan recipes in your spare time (definitely recommend Tabitha Brown, she’s a queen!)
Re-thinking some of your shopping choices is a super easy way to get involved in climate action. Again, I’m not telling anyone to turn their shopping habits completely upside down or begin purchasing in a manner out of their means. There are, however, a few ways to just be a bit more conscious about the impacts of your shopping choices on the planet! A few of my suggestions include: avoiding buying in bulk to limit waste, buying less items and finding innovative ways to reuse and revamp the items that you already own, and being a bit more picky about the places that you choose to support and give your money (fast fashion brands, I’m talking to you).
Make It Fun!
Whoever created the myth that sustainability has to be boring… I just want to talk. The idea that sustainable living or eco-friendly climate action has to be inconvenient and tedious could not be further from the truth. There are so many great ways that sustainability can be made fun! Think about going on bike rides or carpooling with your friends, or organizing a fun beach clean up party (like Hot Girl Meg has shown us is definitely possible). Be creative and find ways to clean the planet or reduce your environmental footprint that don’t feel like a chore!
All in all, there are so many fun and simple ways for young people to get involved in climate action. It’s very important to recognize that we can all make a difference and to throw away the destructive idea that our contributions are too insignificant so we shouldn’t even try at all. Consider incorporating some of these tips into your everyday lives and see what a great change you can make not only in your own life but also in your communities!