"As meaningless as changing a CFL may be, the people that change the CFL bulbs get engaged in the discussion – and that's important." – Colin Bevan, aka No Impact Man
There seem to be a lot of people who challenge individual action. I have often found that those same people shift responsibility.
I am sure you have heard it before:
- "What difference can I make? The government should..."
- "For every plastic bag you recycle, someone else throws ten away."
- "How does it help if I ride my bicycle to work while someone else drives their 4x4?"
I decided that it was time to start recycling as much of our waste as possible. I already had a compost heap which was taking care of any organic waste. Now it was time to deal with plastics, cardboard, paper and the likes. After dutifully sorting my plastic waste I went to the Morning Star dump expecting to be able to deposit my various recyclables. Well, things did not turn out quite as I would have hoped. There just did not seem to be the facilities that were advertised.
Being me I sent off an email to find out what was supposed to be happening. After some emails back–and–forth it seemed like things should be better. So off I went for my second attempt at recycling. This time things were organised and clear. Everything went into the proper recycling bins. I was pleased.
Third visit...unfortunately it was exactly like the first. No recycling bins. Confusion. So back to square one with another email sent off.
So what is the point of my story? My action (recycling) has got me engaged with a problem within my community. It has me engaged in a conversation around the problems and challenges that we face. Suddenly I care about the quality of the dump in my area. That one small action has changed me.
So I encourage you to take action. Just choose something you care about and start doing something. It may or may not change the world, but it will change you.