Twenty twelve; one hell of a ride. We were all dancing to ‘Gangnam Style’, mourning the first ‘Jelena’ split, and watching viral videos of Toddlers in Tiara’s star Honey Boo Boo. Oh - and it was the year the world was supposed to end.
I distinctly remember finding out about the impending doomsday in 2009 from my very concerned friend. Seeing him freak out just made me freak me out more, it’s big news for a wide-eyed 8-year-old. It occurred to me that I’d better start thinking about how I would survive the end of the world in three years - maybe I should start stashing cans and the likes? Of course, the next day it was old news. But outside of my little bubble, it was a crazy big deal at the time.
Everyone knew about it and it was such a widespread theory that a whole damn film was made around it. We’ve always had scientists, philosophers, and preachers predicting that the world would just implode at a specific time and it would be the end of humankind as we know it, some predictions dating back incredibly far. Nevertheless, that 2012 debacle is one that stands out.
Today we’re confronted with another “worlds gonna end” catastrophe, and despite 8-year-old me being proven wrong about 2012, I must say I can’t have learnt a thing. We are evidently being faced with a real and approaching climate apocalypse which some say is just another theory, but I’m a believer. I also now think much further ahead than simply hoarding non-perishable food items. I’m talking immediate change in my actions as an individual and advocate for change. In 2012 it didn’t seem like much could be done. But today, we can actually prevent the ‘end of the world’ for future generations. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you will have heard all the chatter in the media about ice caps melting, animal extinction, the ocean swallowing up islands, that big rubbish mass in the middle of the Pacific twice the size of Texas- that sort of thing. Not to bum you out if you haven’t..
Agree with global warming or not, there is no doubt that we’ve caused a lot of damage to the Earth. Almost every issue that we see with our very eyes is a product of ourselves. That trash island didn’t pop up out of nowhere and any unresearched individual would be able to guess that it probably isn’t ideal. But what can you do realistically? I, for one, know I can’t just cool the ice caps or lift the island of Kiribati. However, doing a few easy things as a collective can create huge change.
For example, going to climate change protests or contributing to social media campaigns can get the attention of governments who decide on the laws and legislations. Getting the attention of corporate organisations and encouraging them to carry out business more ethically and sustainably can help too. When you’re out shopping instead of taking plastic bags, bring your own reusable bag (you can get super rad ones from Cotton On for $2!).
What about a trendy travel mug too? Did you know you can get a 10% discount at campus cafes with a reusable coffee mug? Saving the environment could be money in your pocket once it’s paid off the mug (check out Eco Chic for good quality reusable coffee cups made from bamboo!).
Doing these small things reduces the waste you're producing and adding to the world, and not only are you being environmentally sustainable but you’re also being wallet sustainable. It’s a small price to pay for looking after our environment. So don’t just lie back and take defeat. Put that saved money towards your R&V tickets, or less of a priority to some, this week's rent. Not towards your hoard of canned beans. We all want to be around to see the blockbuster.