Not all climate activism involves taking to the streets. Here are five ways you can help heal the planet.
Hands up if you’re feeling a bit helpless in the face of climate change?
It seems our governments are doing little to help, our pleas for change are falling on deaf ears; and big business and greed seem to have more say than good people caring for the Earth.
Climate activism: 5 ways you can help heal the planet
Don’t be disheartened though. Climate activism comes in many forms and there are many ways we can help heal the planet.
Find your calling
Focusing on change at the global level can feel disempowering and may lead to inaction and despair.
While for some people, focusing on the global is their calling, we need to find how best we can contribute in a way that calls to our own passions and interests, whether that be reducing plastic, planting trees, growing food, caring for people or creating community.
Rebuild your connection to nature
When we re-establish an intimate relationship with nature we can experience that we are an interconnected part of the natural ecosystem. Then we start to care for the Earth and all its beings, because we feel a deep love for them all and we don’t want to see something we love damaged or destroyed.
As Bill Mollison, one of the co-originators of permaculture, puts it, “I think harmony with nature is possible only if we abandon the idea of superiority over the natural world. We are not superior to other life forms; all living things are an expression of Life.”
“If we could see that truth, we would see that everything we do to other life forms, we also do to ourselves. A culture which understands this does not, without absolute necessity, destroy any living thing.”
Find empowerment from your passions
When we focus on what we are passionate about, or what we feel moved by, then we are motivated to make change in that area and we feel empowered when we have success.
We might be inspired to reduce our electricity and water usage, create less waste, start up a repair cafe in our local community, write letters to our local member, grow our own food or change our superannuation fund.
Once we have made positive change in one area of our lives then we can turn our attention to our next climate activism steps.
Act with love and compassion
When we understand that personal healing, social healing, ecological healing and climate healing are all part of the same healing, then the scope of our activism broadens and we allow ourselves to listen to what the world is telling us about what is needed.
If we all focus on the positive things we can do here and now and act with love for ourselves, our communities and the planet, then we will be moving in the right direction.
Heal your life – heal the planet
According to Charles Eisenstein, author and gift economy advocate, we need to move away from fundamentalism, which is the idea that the only relevant action you can take right now is to put 100 percent of your efforts into cutting greenhouse gas emissions as swiftly as possible by whatever means necessary.
This fundamentalist belief states that your other interests – whether it’s housing the homeless, caring for the autistic, rescuing animals or visiting your grandmother – are irrelevant. This belief does not recognise the intimate interconnectedness of all things.
As Einsenstein says, “It’s not about ignoring what the science is telling us. We can trust that as we listen, our care will call us to the right action. Even if our action doesn’t obviously bring down the CO2 numbers, even if it doesn’t obviously scale up or go viral.”
“We need to understand that human degradation and ecological degradation are part of the same fabric and that neither will change without the other changing,” says Einsenstein.
“We need to recognise that healing on any level contributes to healing on every level.”
Because healing the planet involves healing our Earth, our soil, our water, our animals, our community and each other.