As the Paris climate talks enter their first week, our partner the Eden Project shares some top tips to make a difference
A mixture of inspiring talks, exhibits, music and art, made Eden’s Festival of Hope on Sunday a fitting curtain-raiser to this week’s Paris climate talks. And as the hard negotiating gets underway in France’s capital, Eden’s creative director Tony Kendle suggests a few things we can all do to lighten our impact on the planet:
1. Do stuff – don’t waste it, turn it off, turn it down, do it less, do it local, do it yourself, recycle, swap, repair, share
2. Be hopeful – hope isn’t just about crossing your fingers. Without it we could get cynical and frozen in despair, Hope is the fuel – but it only works if you do something
3. Learn about your life – is having ‘stuff’ bad? Not always: trade is not the same as consumption and can support livelihoods, Understand what sustains you and what you need to care about. Learning new talents and skills can help you get there
4. Increase your reach – there’s only so much you can do on your own. Try working with other organisations. Also, don’t forget that your wallet is your weapon. Make buying choices that help good things happen – worldwide
5. Be angry at the things you can’t change…but think about who can change them. Demand that governments, companies and big organisations change with us and give us real choices
6. Imagine different things – the 21st century will be a time of transformation. Meet different people, explore different things, read different books, try out new ideas
7. Give gifts and give thanks – understand why we need each other. This is a time to support each other, to work together and build communities
8. Get out more – people can’t care about what they don’t understand and don’t have some sense of connection to. So we need to get out and down in that dirt lest we forget how it keeps us alive. Play together, learn, explore and have adventures
9. Forgive yourself (and others) – sustainable development will be a territory for endless exploration, Learn from mistakes. We make mistakes because we act, strive and aim high – and that is what makes us human
10. Have fun – ‘Living a sustainable life’ isn’t all about ‘don’t do this’ sucking the joy out of living. Where is the adventure in that? There are worlds of possibility out there. Rich cultures, rich experiences, music, laughter, fun and just enjoying life more – foundations for a better future!
11. Be the change you wish to see in the world – Ghandi’s saying sounds like something from a hippie poster, but actually it was one of the greatest social insights of the 20th century. So, do everything positive you can, not because a list has told you to, but because it’s who you want to be.
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