Doing less as a key climate action

What do we want?
Climate action!
When do we want it?
Now!

If you have been to any climate protests recently you have probably heard the above rallying cry. Against the backdrop of deeply coordinated climate inaction on behalf of governments and corporations in rich nations, calling for climate action makes perfect sense.

We can view ‘climate action’ as any activity that aims to push us away from business as usual, from the status quo, in order to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

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What I do to reduce my environmental footprint

I wrote about the difference between individual change and system change earlier this year. I wanted to do some introspection to identify what individual actions I am taking in my own life to reduce my environmental footprint. I have grouped these actions into a few different categories below. These lists are not exhaustive, and will change and evolve over time.

I found collecting these lists helpful in looking at my lifestyle from different angles. Considering these different perspectives was perhaps more valuable than the exact items collected under each of the headings. Doing this also raised some interesting debates at home around what is considered reducing your footprint in the first place.

I am sharing these as a conversation starter rather than as a preconceived checklist for anyone else to follow, with the acknowledgement that all of this remains woefully inadequate given the enormity of the challenges we face.

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Individual change or system change is not the right question

I have been thinking about change.

Specifically, I have been thinking about the difference between individual change and system change. These terms are prevalent in the climate change discourse, and often presented as a black-and-white, mutually exclusive choice. This is a false dichotomy.

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