With the launch of issue 3 of the Meliora Journal, we are in the midst of a well–publicised global campaign where our young people are raising awareness of the damage we are doing to the planet. It is even more inspirational as the efforts have been led by a 16–year old school student. This in combination with increasing sustainability television programming after the success of Blue Planet II is impactful and reaching into peoples' lives. We're finally getting people and politicians talking about climate change, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and the issues that matter to our collective future. That is the first step to change.
The Fridays for Future campaign and watching television, however, should lead us to think about that next step towards meaningful change. If every one of the people who has participated in the climate change protests started walking or cycling to school/college, or everyone who watched Blue Planet II gave up single use plastic packaging and got a reusable travel cup, there would be so much less waste in the world. These are small, easy to manage changes, but ones that collectively can make a large difference as first steps to mass participation in a more sustainable future.
The only way to make a difference going forward is to take action. That isn't just about tackling climate change, but all aspects of life. If we didn't just talk about the problems of the meat industry or the impact of fast fashion on people and the planet, but each took small but meaningful steps, together we could have a massive positive impact on the way businesses, and therefore our economy, run.
It is a question of balance: is it worth the saving of a couple of pounds on a new item of clothing, knowing that workers across the world aren't earning a fair wage, sacrificing communities' livelihood and the next generation's education? Is the sacrifice of our planet's climate, biodiversity and future worth eating meat every day? Is a new phone every time the latest one comes out worth the natural resources and energy that go into each one, valuable things that our planet has been creating and storing for millennia?
This is our call, to all of you reading today: don't just research sustainability, turn it into action and make it happen. It's not about giving up everything that has an impact on the planet, but reducing the impact: everything in moderation. Responsible production and consumption. Use your platform to provide a quality education to those around you, and together we can pursue the best for the planet that is our home.