Our Say: Season of Hope for Sustainability

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By Kelsey Smith
CERES Outreach Educator

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Season of Hope for Sustainability or Bah, Humbug! The Pressures of a Negative World

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Something I’ve been noticing recently is that everyone seems to be feeling much the same – overwhelmed with the state of the world. It seems to be caused by the constant negativity in the media, elected officials who represent us badly, and the uncountable number of stories filling newsfeeds about environmental degradation, social injustices and species on the brink of collapse (including us!). It makes you feel as though the actions we’ve taken in our own lives aren’t nearly enough to affect the bigger issues.

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© Shutterstock/Rich Carey/WWF

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I don’t believe that for a second.

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I’m not going to focus on those “bad” things because we’re coming into the holiday season and what is this time of year if not the Season of Hope? No, I’m going to tell you about a few of my personal favourite pieces of positivity. A reminder that there are small (and big!) wins happening everywhere. That those small changes you’ve made in your personal lives ARE making a difference – and will continue to do so.

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Yuletide positivity – Australian focus

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So, what are these little pieces of positivity to “yuletide” you over and warm the heart? My personal favourites from our beautiful backyard are –

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Still not convinced? Alright, let’s take this international –

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  • Bhutan – sets aside 5 million acres of land to to be protected FOREVER
  • Morroco and New Zealand – ban plastic bags
  • Mexico – bans gill net fishing to protect critically endangered vaquita porpoise
  • San Francisco, US – has made composting and recycling compulsory

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I could keep going, but with a truly sustainable spirit – “less is more”.

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Spreading the gift of positivity

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Now, I fully acknowledge that in some cases it’s difficult to see the direct link between you using green shopping bags and its impact on a sustainable hair salon. The trick to it is that there isn’t a direct link – it’s the power of the voice. It’s thousands of individuals, within thousands of communities making small changes across the globe, causing tiny ripples in society that eventually build so much pressure they become waves. The beautiful thing about oceans is they are bound by tidal change where they ebb and flow – but they never stop making waves. As changemakers, we need to keep applying pressure and keep the waves moving even as society ebbs and flows with interest.

What you’re doing at home? Trust me, it counts.

So there you have it, some wins to rekindle your hope and reignite the passion towards creating a more sustainable world. As we move through the holidays and into the new year keep these little pieces of positivity with you. Remember that your choices and actions do have power and they do matter – maybe you just can’t see it yet.

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Wondering how you can make some simple changes in your life to help create a more sustainable future? Or wanting to give more ethical gifts this year? Check out these infographics for some simple ideas.

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