Joining communities & petitions to create a critical mass for sustainable change
The goal of challenge #23:
- Use my individual voice to support group efforts for positive change
- Sign 2 online petitions
- Join 2 local community actions
- General support of several Sustainable Development Goals
Rome wasn’t build in a day
It’s a saying we have all heard. For the topic of this post, I like to imagine there is a lesser spoken second sentence; It also wasn’t built by only one person. Of course we should not expect to do important things in a short period of time, but it is also helpful to remember that they generally don’t get achieve through the hard work of one lonesome Larry either!
Think of one big achievement that you are proud of in life – take the first thing that comes to mind. For some it may be a work project, others creating a home, perhaps completing a sporting event or raising a family. These are all things that we should feel great about, they take time, energy, dedication, and for the majority also a healthy dose of ups and downs along the way. I bet, whatever you chose, it was something that was also enabled through the effort and participation of others, whether it be the cheering crowds spurring you on for the last stretch of a marathon, or the teachers of your little terrors.
It is important to remember that we need to work together to enable positive development
One of my goals with Better Me Green is to gain more perspective on how the responsibility and ownership for changing damaging behaviours should be shared across individuals, businesses, industries, politics and geographical regions. Whilst changing my personal buying and consuming habits at home is important, as well as satisfying in seeing direct improvements, I am gaining ever more clarity on the significance of joining and supporting bigger movements.
The power of petitions
Over the weeks, I have increasingly finished some of my challenges with the action of signing a relevant petition. During my working career I have been involved in political Call To Action campaigns, in which the aim is to gain support for development projects, often in the form of signatures or declarations. These then get discussed with the people who hold the purse strings or have decision making powers, in my case it was the policy makers with in the European Parlament. I saw first hand how, although only part of long-winded processes, these petitions are an important aspect in putting topics for change in front of the bodies that have power to alter laws and regulations.
This week I signed two petitions via the change.org website, which is a great platform to find and support topics you care about. What is more, they give you regular updates on what is happening to the agendas you have chosen to support. My choices were:
#All In For Climate Action
This is the continuation of a large scope petition that was started by young activist Rebecca Freitag, who used the petition to address world leaders at the Sustainable Development Goal Summit in New York.
The call to action asks for a climate emergency to be declared and is brilliantly structured to demand regulatory changes across the energy, transport, agriculture and food sectors, as well as increase protection for rainforests. Rebecca continues to be very active and surely has many more plans for the petition over the coming months, I am very pleased to join almost 70,000 people supporting here. You can do so too here.
Introducing speed limits on German motorways and roads to reduce CO2 emissions
Speed limits of 120 or 100 km/h can lead to reducing CO2 emission by 2.9 and 6.2 million tons respectively – immediately and without incurring government spending. For my family of car fanatics and many of you reading this in countries where speed limits have always been common place, I realise there are some romanticised dreams of fly along the German Autobahn.
I can tell you that is all they are; ‘dreams’. The reality is a developed country that has listened to, and actively played its part in, lobbying for an automobile industry that is now loosing its foothold as a pioneer in the global market. For decades Germany has neglected public transport development and is now waking up to a tough reality.
Joining communities for local action
My research over the weeks has shown me that there are so many brilliant initiatives going on locally and online. I have signed up to numerous newsletters and am constantly getting great ideas sent to my inbox. This week one from Earth Day encouraged me to join the Earth’s largest cleanup crew 💪. Sure enough a day later I was cycling through my city and saw adverts for the local city clean up in Bochum. Bochums Frühjahrs-Stadtputz on 28th March 2020 – I’m in 🤩
Too Good To Go
My final activity was a welcome bonus whilst out for Sunday brunch – hearing about an app that fights food waste.
This global social impact company has saved over 28 million meals from the bin in 14 different countries. Luckily for me, Germany is one of them and I plan to get involved with this next week for challenge 24!
To round things up for the week, being a pioneer and leading change initiatives is great, but what translates one persons vision into actual development lies largely in the support from a critical mass. By joining existing initiatives we can use our voice to drive necessary change at a level that has big impact!
Thanks for reading
Your Better Me Greener