I found myself tracking the COP17 climate talks this year with a heavy heart.
It is shameful the way world leaders have acted to stall and block any meaningful progression on a solid, legally binding global plan to cut carbon emissions. It is completely unacceptable that world leaders still lack the political will to acknowledge responsibility for the crisis that we are facing.
But if anything can be taken from the climate talks in Durban it is that, although we may feel powerless, it is our actions that are necessary to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe.
“Dig for Victory” is a term I am sure many of you have heard. It was a World War II campaign broadcast across both Allies and Axis territories alike and it is a campaign that I feel is very appropriate for our current predicament.
It promotes self-responsibility and sufficiency. Not only in the sense it was originally intended, but also as the solution to a contemporary problem. As we reach the end of this 3600 Energy Diet we must remember that it is our responsibility to support our nation as strong patriots, as citizens of the world. Some of us might not see the enemy for a number of years, but for others it has already begun.
I have learned a lot over the past eight weeks. About how I live and how I want to be living. About reconnecting with my community and giving something back.
– I have become more consistent in disconnecting electrics when not in use.
– Hanging up clothes instead of tumble-drying them.
– Only using biodegradable, green-certified products.
– Making sure all the products I use and consume are vegan.
– Cutting out processed foods and takeaways.
– Considering raw alternatives to cooked foods.
– Joining a local, organic veg box scheme.
– Shopping at local businesses instead of supermarkets.
– Turning my hand to sprouting.
– Deciding not to go skiing this December.
– Asking around about carpooling schemes.
– Taking the bus instead of riding my motorbike.
– Walking around town.
– Recycling all glass, aluminium, plastic, batteries and paper.
– Changing to paperless biling.
– Using my cotton ‘bag for life’ instead of plastic ones.
– Taking those old clothes I never liked anyway to the charity shop.
– Started volunteering at the local charity shop and getting involved in community work.
– Turning to ethical cosmetics, using ‘toothy tabs’ instead of toothpaste, natural deodorant and henna hair dye.
I have also been given a lot to think about for the future. I want to do even more, I want to grow my own vegetables and take harvest from the beaches and hedgerows. I want to spend some time away living without electricity and the conveniences of our modern world. I need a holiday unlike any I have ever experienced before.
But as that is unlikely to happen for now, at least until the weather clears, I will continue on with what I have learned here and put what I can into practice.
My deepest thanks to you National Geographic, my readers and my family for helping me along the way.
May your Yule be merry and the New Year see you fare.