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July 11, 2011 | by  | in Features |
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It’s Easy Being Green

While small actions on their own are not a solution to environmental issues, they provide the foundation for societal and governmental change. So, in the face of the climate crisis and the “why bother?” attitude, what should we do? Salient writer Lucinda Staniland thinks that we should do something, because, well, it does matter.

Change how you shop and become a conscious consumer.

Buy less and buy better quality. Do you really need this? Be a conscious consumer, one who chooses their purchases wisely and goes for locally sourced and sustainably produced products. Vote with your dollars and you let businesses know that producing more sustainable and eco-friendly products is the only way to move forward.

Change the way you eat.

We all have to eat and the majority of us are lucky enough to have a large degree of choice in regard to what we put in our mouths. One way to green your diet is to eat less meat and fewer animal products. Meat production accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions and uses a lot of resources, making meat a very carbon-intensive product. To reduce your impact on carbon emissions and the planet’s resources you could consider going meat free for one meal a week, or becoming a full or part-time vegetarian. Eat local, eat seasonal, and eat organic. It makes a lot of sense to eat this way because it’s cheaper, healthier and tastier, as well as being better for the environment. Growing your own food is awesome too.

Get curious, get informed, and get inspired.

Now is the time to learn. The more you know, the more power you have to change things. And you needn’t be too depressed, because the people that are involved in creating change are incredibly inspiring. Yes, things are bad, but the work that is already being done to change the direction we are headed in is amazing. Check it out.

Get involved and become part of the solution.

Link up with environmental and community groups. By getting involved with a group you can meet like minded people, build community, and work together to make bigger and more impactful changes than you ever could on your own. The University club, Gecko, is a great place to start. Other groups that are active in Wellington are Generation Zero, 350 and Climate Justice, as well as community gardens like Kai O Te Aro and Innermost gardens. Look up their websites to find out more.

Vote.

The fact that we, as citizens of a democratic country, have a right to vote is not something we should ever take for granted. Sure, we are all very busy and important people, who don’t have a lot of time to sit around reading politician’s bullshit promises, but we owe it to ourselves to make the effort to find out what party policies mean for our future. Make climate change a priority in your voting decision, as all parties, green or not, should have effective strategies in place to get New Zealand down to zero carbon emissions.

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