We are the ones that choose to buy plasma TV’s because it is all the rage, buying the biggest fridges on the planet to store food we don’t eat and throw away after two weeks, and driving 4×4’s (SUV) just to travel 3 km to pick up the kids from school. All these choices are easily modified, but do the average Australians really want to change their behaviours to save the planet? That is the question I ask. From what I see, it is a resounding NO.
So who do we blame for this complacency? The media for not bringing it to our attention years ago? Advertising Marketing urging us to consume? The Federal Government for lack of action on our behalves? Or the typical Australian ethos of “she’ll be right mate, I will get to that tomorrow”. Well, I have news for the complacent ones and that is “She will not be right mate, and tomorrow is now”.
If we all continue to sit on our hands, and believe it is some one else’s problem, the current stagnation will continue ad infinitum. Recycling the odd beer can, milk carton or cardboard box and changing the one or two CFL’s just doesn’t cut the mustard any more! It is time to get serious. Where are the energy efficiency programs rolling out amongst our communities? Where are the disincentives to buy massive cars? Where are the people lining up to fork out the $5000 for a Solar PV system instead of buying the latest LCD TV or Plasma? Where are the campaign’s to promote and increase the viability of our public transport systems? And where are the feed-in tariff incentives for renewable energy systems to promote rapid uptake to reduce carbon emissions? When was the last time you saw a coal power plant close down? Or is it all too late?
I know there are some wonderful, early adopters, who are doing a great job of raising awareness about the simple things inspire people to do the 3R’s, self sufficiency, sustainable living, and organic home gardening (just look at my blog roll to the right), and that gives me hope. But when I walk around the city, seeing so many people still practising a consumable and disposable lifestyle, with every second person with a disposable coffee cup in their hand, it just makes me so angry, and to cap it off, the half baked article in The Age!
I am usually an optimist when it comes to human behaviour and believe that globally we will all do the right thing, but since I have been on my journey towards a sustainable lifestyle, it feels to me that no one else, either gives a damn or are blissfully ignorant of the damage they cause on a daily basis. I would hope that it is the latter, and to solve a big chunk of the problem, all we need to do is educate. But then you can only lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink!
I have seen many education campaigns, but I still remember the night I presented to our local Rotary Club about Sustainable Living, and remember the look of shock and awe on their faces when I said that we all caused the mess the planet is in now. Look, I can’t change peoples behaviours by ranting at them. They must be gently coerced in to thinking that the changes they make (for the better) are their own ideas. I know this is true, because that’s how I educated my family. I didn’t rant (much anyway), and they all know the consequences of their actions, via a simple education program, and choose to reduce consumption.
Change is a scary thing, we all have experienced that in our lives, and it is always made easier if you know others have experienced it before you and have survived unscathed. So read, learn, and inspire yourselves, there is so much information out there. There are so many people like myself that have turned their lifestyles around and have inspired others to act. There are NO dumb questions, ask away, we don’t mind you asking.
In fact, most green bloggers love questions about our experiences, and how we went about making permanent changes for the better. We wouldn’t be blogging otherwise. So, go ahead, do a little something each day to make a difference. It is not that hard, honestly!