Sometimes on a Friday I get takeaway sushi for lunch. I always grab a plate from the office kitchen to take with me to avoid having to use one of those flimsy single-use plastic containers. Without fail, every time I rock up with my own plate, at least one other person in the queue will mention what a great idea it is – and we’ll often have a chat about how easy it is and how much better food tastes off real crockery. Often people tell me that they’ll bring their plate next time, or sometimes they’ll change their mind about getting takeaways and instead dine-in using a real plate from the sushi shop.
On my journey to living more lightly on the planet, I have learnt that making changes in my own life feels really good, but I can really double down on the impact I’m having by influencing those around me. I’m not talking about turning up at friends’ houses and critiquing their recycling bins, I mean finding ways to amplify my voice and actions in a way that feels authentic to me.
- Community: Whether it’s friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, people in the sushi queue, or other assorted humans that I interact with – I’ve found that just getting on and doing what I think is the right thing is a great way to engage others. It’s classic role modelling and will have an impact beyond what you will ever know. I also am a big believer in the power of conversation and will engage whenever the opportunity presents itself. If someone seems interested in what I’m doing, or if I spot some doing something cool, I’ll invite a chat and see what happens.
- Consumer: I’m a big believer in supporting stores, brands and organisations that are doing the right thing. I support them with my wallet, but I also believe in celebrating them where I can. I’ll recommend them to others, comment on social media or give them a positive online review.
I’ll also offer feedback to products and services that I use that could do better when it comes to people and planet. I’ll always keep it super constructive and open the door for further conversation.
- Citizen: Whether it’s a petition, submission, a survey, or just a good old fashioned opportunity for feedback I’ll use my citizen voice when I can. I‘ve signed up to relevant local Council and Government newsletters so I can be kept in the loop with any feedback opportunities around sustainability.
There is a perfect opportunity to get your citizen voice on right now! The Ministry for the Environment has a significant proposal out for feedback right now, and you can make a submission here. Go on, do it!
Find a way to amplify your voice and actions in a way that feels right to you and create ripples of change.