How we can really make change come about?
Margaret Mead’s words, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” inspire me. They are the kind of phrase I would happily post on my Facebook page. Whilst the sentiment is definitely there, perhaps action was lacking – a little disconnect between wanting and being willing to actually do something concrete to make my life in the city, on our one shared earth, a more sustainable one.
I attended Ealing Transition’s film night and enjoyed a 40 min film called ‘Do the Math’ which Trevor introduced and we followed by small group discussions. Being here, seeing the film and talking to like–minded people inspired me to make a change.
Whilst the film examined ideas of ‘divesting’ and asking your college/church/bank about its investments, were they linked to oil companies, or fossil fuel destroying companies, and if so to move away from these investments. I wondered who or how I could ask about such things. I didn’t think I invested in oil companies. Do be honest I felt a little removed and powerless to affect things.
I asked my neighbour, and fellow gardener at the Community Garden, what real change we could affect on a small, local, individual family level.
“Well” he quickly responded “Who do you bank with? Who supplies the energy to your home?”
Very good starting places. I don’t need to be part of an activist group to not give money to British Gas anymore! The following week, my husband and I looked into 100% renewable energy companies like Ecotricity and Good Energy.
They are out there, fully professional, friendly energy companies who are run by business people who don’t want to damage the earth, but make a successful passage, treading lightly and supplying energy to an electricity dependant society.
We decided to switch supplier and not only that. The film made me think about how the power of the pocket is really a very direct way to approach positive change ‘Voting with your pocket’. It’s the language all the oil companies understand, indeed the only language.
We had a ‘solar project’ written on our vision board for 2013 and the impetus was finally here. I came across a marketing card in the garden centre which led to a sales man calling from The Big Green company and measuring our home up. A week later we have 10 solar panels on the roof. The 2.5kw power station, our very own, will be used by us, for free, during the day, and excess sent back to (sold back to I may add with the Feed In Tariff government initiative) a 100% renewable energy company.
It feels good. I feel connected to my values in doing this.
So moving from the vast opening statement about a small group of people changing the world, I will end on the note form Mother Teresa:
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. The ocean is made of many drops.”