The Power of the Individual

The pound in our pocket combined with online petitions, individual emails to companies voicing our concerns, and Facebook messages from consumers demanding change in production methods to minimise environmental impact….These really do make a difference.30571664_10160015527235411_5732840536163745792_o

It’s to imagine that anything we do can possibly have an effect, good or bad, on the environment in the face of the massive threats facing our world. Ocean acidification, plastic pollution, climate change, deforestation, soil destruction etc

In fact, we have enormous power as individuals:

  • Our shopping choices dictate the success or failure of shops, product manufacturers, raw material producers, and all the people in between. If we disapprove of how a product is made, we are free to vote with our wallets and credit cards.
  • Companies, even huge multinationals, change their ways in the face of public disapproval.
  • Who remembers the outcry about microbeads in facewashes and toothpastes?
  • Longer ago there was public outcry about the use of CFCs in aerosols and they were replaced.
  •  A similar sea change (pun intended) seems to be underway regarding single use plastics. Waitrose, Co op, and many others are buckling to public opinion.

Every day each one of us chooses with our wallets and affects the behaviour of these companies. When we join forces and sign petitions, write letters and emails, go on marches, or do interviews in the media, we hasten the change for good.

Similarly, when we fatalistically succumb to the thought that there is nothing we can do, we allow business as usual to continue to the detriment of the living world, ourselves included.

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