Climate Change & Individual Actions

Anna Triponel
July 21, 2023
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It’s been hot. Very hot. I’ve had many friends reach out on holiday across Europe: Agh! Climate change is truly upon us! I get it now! 🌡️

Yes, it is. I spoke recently about the fact that climate change combined with El Nino (a cyclical weather phenomenon that warms the Pacific Ocean) to create the hottest June on record. Ever. And July is not looking much cooler. 😨

I can see climate anxiety increasing amongst non-practitioners. And of course, I can completely relate. I’ve been on a journey with it for the past four years. And that is what it is - a journey.

What has helped me the most has been to separate out what I can control and influence, from what I can’t. (I have this list written down and it’s on my wall). And then place all my dedicated efforts to where I can have the most impact, within what I can control. 📄

Of course, this will look different for all of us.

I know I am privileged that I get to speak to Boards, executive leadership, company teams, and I can shape and influence company strategy from the inside. But even beyond my professional life, I have found that living up to my climate pledge has helped me feel more grounded on a daily basis. I put my climate pledge together in 2019, and I can see now how setting that intention has changed my practices and behaviours, one step at a time. I take the train whenever I can. I have significantly reduced when I fly. I have reviewed every single beauty and household product I have in my house and made a change to make it more sustainable. I buy most of my products in zero waste shops and in bulk. I write to shops I buy from enquiring about their approach to human rights and climate. 🌎

Is it perfect? Of course not. I cringe when I see the way my bins fill up. (Have you seen Seven Days of Garbage by photographer Gregg Segal? I think about it every time I put something in the bin.) I definitely rely too much on the convenience of online shopping. And I’m probably too hopeful about Sustainable Aviation Fuel. 🤔

Many of my friends ask me: Do these small actions make a difference? Yes, they do. We model the future that we want. And we have agency to change our future. We are entering into a new era: the era of ‘The Great Simplification’ (according to Nate Hagens in interview with polycrisis experts). And it starts with us.

Let me leave you with words from the Post Carbon Institute in their wonderfully named report: “Welcome to the Great Unraveling: Navigating the Polycrisis of Environmental and Social Breakdown”:

“For individuals, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, given the scale and diversity of the challenges our species will face this century. However, each of us does have some agency to respond courageously and creatively. There are things we can do to mitigate the worst, and to seize opportunities to build a future that’s sustainable, happy, and beautiful. … In general, an overarching goal of personal action should be to build resilience—the capacity of a system to encounter disruption and still maintain its basic structure and functions.” We can build our resilience by building our informational competence, building our emotional/psychological resilience, and taking practical personal steps for building resilience. Add this report to your reading list for some further tips on how to do this. 📕

We’ll be in your Inbox again next week for our last weekly update before the summer holidays where we’ll take a break to rejuvenate. 🌟