When TV shows and movies want to refer to the environment and climate change, they use big global images - icebergs calving, pandas in china, rainforests, satellite shots of hurricanes, floods in Bangladesh, drought in Africa, and so on. It's easy, then, to feel that the environment is somewhere else. And that saving the planet is such a big task it's going to take big power and big money to do it. It's easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed.
But that's exactly the wrong response, because it's exactly the wrong way to think about the environment. Look outside your window. What you see is the environment. If it's a street filled with cars, it's the environment. If it's a rain-filled sky, it's the environment. Look back inside, at the room you are in. That's the environment. The environment isn't hills with wind farms on them. It's where you live.
What did you see? Was it a pleasant environment or an unpleasant one? If unpleasant, how could it be made nicer? If some trees were planted in the street and if 80% of the cars vanished, replaced by a smaller number of buses, trams, maybe some bicycles, would that be a better environment? Does your room contain healthy plants, attractive pictures, are the objects in the room made of mostly natural materials or mostly man-made, is there plenty of natural light or is it gloomy, or lit by electric lights? What can you do to make your own immediate environment better?
I'd like people to open their eyes and look at the environment they live in. I'd like them to open their minds and realise the effect their own choices have on that environment, for good and for bad. And I'd like them to use their imagination and find ways to make the environment better for themselves and everyone else. I'd like them to stop sleepwalking through their lives, blind to the possibilities and the power they have. Wake up! Look around you. Do one thing today to make your environment better.
Today is Blog Action Day, an international initiative of bloggers, with the aim of uniting thousands of blogging voices, talking about one issue for one day - the environment. This was my contribution.