what’s the alternative?

There is none.

Well I mean there is no alternative situation for the near future. We can’t get rid of the prospect of global warming, it’s already happening. There are ways to stop it going any further, that’s where I can help.

There are 2 ways of approaching this-1 of which you will have heard alot about.  

1. from the top down                                                                                                                                  

2. from the bottom up

I reccomend both. The first one is long term, harder work and effective on a big scale-it means change from the government downwards, that affects EVERYTHING! This is so important because the changes that will really and truly affect the planet are government-scale decisions. Daunting eh? Have no fear I’m not expecting you to go and break parliaments windows and grace them with dog turds. I advocate what the Environmentalist George Monbiot advocates-ANARCHY (albeit well placed anarchy) Desperate Housewives stylee! So it doesn’t mean toppling governments, it means keeping the government we do have, in check. We as their voters need to show them we do care about how much money they spend and where they spend it, we want a say in what they do, and thanks very much they can leave that dodgy arms deal where they left it.

How?

well. That’s a difficult question because whatever you do you can’t expect to see immediate results, but just hang on in there. There are endless petitions and groups you can join, just type the relevant words in Blackle.com see what it comes up with. I can give you a few to get started with:

www.wyfsd.org the welsh youth forum for sustainable development-we’re doing good stuff

www.writetothem.com this site gives you all your local AM’s, PM’s, MSP’s and hell, all your MEP’s too-go fish! now you can email or write to all your local and national politicians, tell them you’re young, tell them you care, and tell them to pay attention. Expect a reply from your local MP

www.greenpeace.org.uk feeling rebellious? want to take non-violent but more direct action for your cause? this a famous network for direct action in your area and the whole of the UK, they know their stuff-go for it!

www.risingtide.org.uk along the same lines as the above

www.peopleandplanet.org specifically for sixth formers and students, it’s all going on here, and really easy to get involved.

The second option is a little tamer, and that’s what can you change in your own lifestyle? I’m going to be frank with you, it’ll take a little more than switching off your standby lights to “save the planet” as is the cliche, but you should be doing that too. I’m going to write as if you are a student either living in halls or in a house with parents or flatmates.

  • a house needs really good insulation-look at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk for grants and help
  • turn down, or even better OFF, your radiators! wear lots of lovely jumpers and socks,mmmm have a look at www.peopletree.com for some good ones
  • dont leave your laptop and other equipment on all the time, give it a rest go outside and have a walk.
  • get a push bike, paint it funky colours or cover it in zebra stripes, have yourself a basket and/or pannier’s and you can carry your shopping, books, friend…anything you like, it’s zero carbon and freeeeee. www.sustrans.org.uk can give you any cycle route you may need.
  • grow some veg and herbs, use your windowsill, your balcony, your steps, or your garden! Alternatively get an allotment between a group of friends. Or if you’re in halls, try and persuade the university to let you turn a patch of green into a garden-it’s cheap, fun, social, and satisfying. go on www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/grow_your_own– there is no better site for beginners.
  • Simply to use less, reuse more and recycle is essential (but always reuse if you can before recycling) interested in reviving past it clothes? look at www.bbc.co.uk/thread even I was impressed! so that you don’t end up with piles of plastic and cardboard in the 1st place, buy the raw ingredients and learn how to cook matey! don’t buy individually packed aubergines, that’s just ridiculous!
  • If you can be bothered, eating a meal together saves loads of energy in the preperation and can be really fun, it also means you can share the washing up, happy days! Plus, if you all chip in you can buy better quality (and organic?) meat, fish and veg.
  • An obvious one: don’t get a car-make a statement and don’t learn to drive, get a railcard (www.railcard.co.uk), take the bus, train, bike or cadge a lift if someone is already going that way. Better still…….walk! I think it’s so nice to be able to read and look out on your surroundings on buses and trains.
  • Consume less, that doesn’t mean go on a diet, it means go on a shopping diet. Shop in charity shops and carboots instead, most high street shops are unethical and don’t give a shit about you, the environment or their workers, a charity shop is the complete opposite. Try sites like ebay, www.whatsmineisyours.co.uk, www.freecycle.org, and the local newspaper. you know it makes sense ; )
  • then simply(!) get your department, school, college or place of work to do roughly the same thing

phewf I’m tired now! there are no excuses, and if you need more help and info my email is wizzabel@hotmail.com, I’ll see what I can do.

Lastly, it is important that everyone takes this on board because in a world where oil is getting scarcer by the day, there will come a time when we will have to live in an oil free world, by following these steps you will be better prepared for when it does come, make the mistakes while its not critical to your survival! learn before you’re forced too, its really not hard, so good luck! Get stuck in and enjoy yourself!

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2 responses to “what’s the alternative?”

  1. Trystan says :

    One more point for your great list:

    To have a sustainable society, to create an oil free world that is really great to live in we are going to need:

    People developing, creating, designing new technologies like solar panels, wind turbines 🙂 electric transport, sustainable houses…
    People reporting on our progress, writing blogs!, newspapers, going on tv, radio.
    People making videos, films, pictures, art, music that communicate climate change and how we are going to make a sustainable world.
    People in government making sure that good policies are in place.
    People getting local communities together, organising, producing local food, local self sufficiency.
    People teaching all ages about sustainability.
    and Environmental Lawyers making sure that the Law protects Earth!!!

    This list could be inexhaustible!

    So when we start to think about careers, jobs, life paths, next steps there is loads of really exiting stuff to do!

    Thanks Isabel for writing your blog!

  2. izzykb says :

    You are of course so right, (thankfully otherwise where would I be?!) but, I thought it might scare people less if the prospect was not one of having to devote one’s life and future aspirations to the cause! Most people, I have found, are not quite THAT keen!

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