Hello again lovely people 😊 Sarah from The Happy Earth Company here (a little business selling lots of lovely eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle products – http://www.thehappyearthcompany.co.uk)!
So Much Going on in The World
So, it feels like a huge amount has been going on in the world since my last (and first) blog I wrote for the ConsciouslyElle page (which you can check out HERE) – what with the painful images we have been witnessing from the war in Ukraine and beyond, and massive increases in the cost of petrol, energy and living generally which have been affecting so many of us.
All of these have of course demonstrated in stark reality how painfully dependant we still are on fossil fuels and our immediate need to massively scale up our reliance on renewable technologies. However, at a human level, I’m sure many of you can relate to the feelings these things have brought up in ourselves; feeling deeply affected by the huge levels of human suffering; feelings of hopelessness at times. I know myself that I have felt very low motivation to post on Instagram at times in my usual, chirpy, upbeat way with all that is going on.
Bad News is Hard to Hear
It is of course very easy to feel hopeless when we think about the huge levels of loss of life, pollution, and destruction – not just from the war in Ukraine, but also with the impact of climate change being felt all over the world (and disproportionately more so in poorer countries). The truth is: bad news is really hard to hear. It stays in our minds and provides a painful lens to look at the rest of our life through. I have friends who don’t even read or listen to the news for that very reason.
Bad news is also really hard to relate to; how can we imagine what it feels like for people going through the impossible, when none of us (including the people going through it) have been prepared for it!? Sometimes our brains just cannot believe that such a possibility could happen…But the bottom line with climate change is that it will, and already is, happening to us. Moreover, if we shy away from unpalatable, eco-anxiety inducing news and facts, that does not make the problem go away – even worse, it actually makes the problem bigger.
I have often wondered if as a small business I should be using my platform to discuss news about climate change (as I often do on social media – @thehappyearthcompanyuk), or even having a view on these things…many bigger eco companies do not mention these things, and purposefully remain politically neutral. But the climate change crisis is EXACTLY why I started The Happy Earth Company. The future of our seas, animals, and the planet my little boy (and his future loved people) are going to grow up on, concerns me hugely. I feel so strongly that if I can find ways to help people get excited about making swaps they would not otherwise have made to live more sustainably, then I will have done my bit.
It’s Really Not All Doom and Gloom
So, what can we do? The greatest testimony to those who have experienced such horrendous loss of life, property or habitat through these things is to do everything we can to prevent them and to protect the planet for their future generations. And our actions don’t even need to be all that radical or massive! I am all about helping people to feel empowered about the impact they can have simply by making lots of small changes – which, on a grand scale, all add up. This sentiment has been echoed in the recently-released final IPCC report (which you can find HERE) on how we can avoid the worst impacts of climate and halve emissions by 2030. People always think living sustainably is expensive, but most crucially, this report shows that we do not need any fancy, expensive technologies to achieve this: we have everything we need already. But it will take a massive effort from governments, businesses, and individuals.
“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming”.
– IPCC Chair, Hoesung Lee
So, What Do I Need to Do?
Firstly, if you don’t believe it already, know and remember the fact that you can make an impact.
- Cut Out Fossil Fuels – We absolutely cannot afford to continue to invest in fossil fuels – maddeningly, something the UK government is still planning to do, left right and centre. Support the global initiative to phase out fossil fuels by adding your name to the Fossil Fuel Treaty, HERE. At the very least, sign up to a renewable energy supplier, such as Octopus Energy.
- Eat Plant-Based – cut out meat, dairy and fish (the statistics on the contribution of these things doesn’t even need to be stated anymore, do they?!). If you can’t face doing it all at once, start with alternate days, or even one day a week.
- Shop Local – it reduces air and travel miles and diverts your money from going to big tax-avoiding and climate polluting companies.
- Shop Sustainable – the most sustainable option is always to Reduce what you buy, Reuse what you have and Recycle what you have finished with. But when you do need to buy new again, make a swap to a sustainable and plastic-free option – we have plenty of bits to get you started over at www.thehappyearthcompany.co.uk 😊.
- Cut out Fast Fashion – treat yourself to a Depop, eBay and/or Vinted splurge – you don’t have to cut our nice things to live sustainably!! I pride myself on the fact that all my clothes are second-hand.
- Drive Less and go Electric – bike, walk, public transport. Also, electric cars have gone WAY down in price. Did you know that the cost to buy and fuel a (even used) modern petrol car is now pretty comparable to leasing and charging an electric or hybrid car!?
- Switch Your Bank – did you know loads of the big Banks invest in fossil fuels, big mining operations and nuclear weapons, amongst other things? Choose an ethical bank – Triodos and Nationwide – you can read about the best Ethical Banks HERE. Its also important to review your pension pot – research on behalf of Make My Money Matter has found that redirecting your pension wealth could have 21 times the impact on your carbon emissions than going vegetarian or giving up flying.
- Get Others Onboard – use your voice! Add your name to petitions, tell your friends and family about how easy you have found it to make sustainable swaps, don’t avoid the news but spread messages of global concern to galvanise others to take action instead 😊
Any other ideas I’ve missed or that you want to share? Hit us up in the comments!
Lots of love and hugs,
The Happy Earth Company x
IPCC, 2022: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, R. Slade, A. Al Khourdajie, R. van Diemen, D. McCollum, M. Pathak, S. Some, P. Vyas, R. Fradera, M. Belkacemi, A. Hasija, G. Lisboa, S. Luz, J. Malley, (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA. doi: 10.1017/9781009157926