The subject of climate change stirs strong emotions in many of us. It has been a constant on the news agenda for years, with the world’s most powerful people perennially failing to agree on a way to save our planet, while the voices of those who care most struggle to be heard.
For decades, the science behind the pending climate catastrophe has been passionately proven, time and again. However, its causes and impact have been just as passionately refuted, despite the mountains of irrefutable evidence.
Today, climate change risks becoming lost amongst a news agenda that is overwhelmed with society’s immediate and short term concerns.
The sad reality is that even the most shocking reports into the human impact of climate change, the destruction of vital habitats, the loss of wildlife, rising temperatures, melting ice caps and rising carbon levels, are failing to sustain the interest of the media for more than a few days.
All too aware of this media apathy, climate ‘activists’ are today disrupting the lives of many in order to be heard. It is a move that is creating headlines, but dividing opinion across the world.
Many disagree with their methods but others – like a wave of lawyers who are refusing to prosecute cimate activists – believe the issue lies not with those disrupting society, but with the politicians and law makers whose policies, in their eyes, are indefensible.
Proud to join Climate Change Collective
With all this in mind, I’m delighted to have joined Climate Change Collective, a group of bloggers from across the world who are committed to doing what we can to raise awareness of climate change, as well as the changes we can all make to our lives in order to help.
Climate Change Collective is the brainchild of two superstar bloggers, Michelle from Boomer EcoCrusader and Jamie from Jamieadstories. The pair came up with the idea of asking bloggers to come together, to write and share posts on the theme of climate change.
Each month, members of the Collective take it in turns to post a unique and personal piece on the climate issues that concern and impact them, with other members then sharing it and furthering the conversation through their own blogs.
This isn’t cold, clinical news reporting on climate change, this is personal, relatable, passionate and considered content on climate issues that affect us all, and which we can all do something about.
In the latest Climate Change Collective post, Michelle from Boomer EcoCrusader wrote about the hidden environmental costs of gift experiences, the alternative to physical gifts that are proving so popular today.
As someone who has previously been gifted a few experience days in the past, and who has looked on many occasions at gifting experiences to others, Michelle’s post opened my eyes.
There’s no doubt that gifters are always well intentioned, often understandably thinking that an experience is better than giving something physical that would have to be manufactured, delivered to a shop or a warehouse, packaged, transported and sent to the recipient, who would then have to put it somewhere.
And with many gifted experiences, this may well be the case. However, most often, as Michelle points out, the more expensive the experience, the more environmental impact it might have. Think about the travel, the organisation, the people involved in putting the experience on.
For me, the most shocking statistic in Michelle’s post was that the average cruise ship deposits 210,000 gallons of human sewage into the ocean during a week’s voyage. Now, a cruise would be one hell of a gift, but as far as environmental impact goes, how would you feel about contributing to two swimming pools’ worth of offloaded excrement during your week’s break?
Tickets to a concert or a show, meanwhile, are a great idea, but large events come with a large carbon footprint. While I agree with Michelle’s suggestion to look for alternatives and to consider simple, local alternatives, I would also argue that, if you did attend – and I freely admit to looking forward to a Coldplay concert later in the year – that you look at ways you could offset the experience before or afterwards.
I might, for example, look at how I can drive less, walk more, donate to a tree planting charity or take some other positive action to offset the fact that I will be attending a large event.
Charity gifts are, indeed, a great alternative to gifted experiences – and I am not just saying that because I work for a charity. Many charities allow people to gift a donation, often in return for sponsorship of an item, person, animal or piece of infrastructure and, at a time when many smaller charities – including the one I work for – are still struggling to raise income in the wake of the pandemic and cost of living crisis, these gifts could be crucial for the beneficiaries and for the charity itself.
So, please think carefully next time you are shopping for a loved one or friend. Check out Michelle’s excellent post for more alternative ideas to reduce your gift’s impact on the planet.
Join the conversation
Every member of the Climate Change Collective wants to encourage more discussion and an ongoing conversation in relation to the topics raised. So, please join us by commenting below and sharing your thoughts.
How often do you consider the climate impact of the gifts you give? What kind of gifts do you give? Will you give differently in the future? Would you consider giving a charity gift?
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