Individual Actions

In the face of climate change, do our individual actions matter? 

Originally in Finnish, this video has decent English subtitles. Good enough that I know I sympathize with every perspective offered here; like the video’s creator/narrator, I struggle to find a definitive position. Ultimately, I do tend to think that individual action matters, if only because none of us are truly isolated (even if we feel like we are). Taking positive steps and putting thought into action (clichés though they most certainly are) do nudge cultural change.

At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that recycling one aluminum can is not going to reverse climate change; when it comes down to who actually has the ability to make a significant difference to the world ecologically, the big players are not individuals, but institutions–governments and corporations, especially BIG governments and corporations (I’m looking at you, U. S. of A.).


A good place to think. (Dublin, Ireland, February 2014.)

Personally, my individual actions are somewhat limited right now, but we’re all limited in some way (I don’t really have much of an excuse, is what I’m saying). That said, one of the individual actions I want to be more definite about is breaking my “Internet addiction.” On a scale of 1-10, my “addiction” is probably something like a 5; I rarely check my phone and don’t miss Internet when I don’t have ready access to WiFi. That said, when I have easy WiFi access, I find it hard to peel away. I’ve had an email account for over half my life and I don’t even remember when I published my first website (way, way, WAY before I needed one).

I’ve spent a lot of time recently pruning the kiwis, and while pruning the kiwi plants some more today, I realized that the cherry trees are also in desperate need of a haircut. All I can say is HOORAY, because the weather has suddenly turned downright summery and all I want is to be outside. As much as I try to stick to a schedule with this blog, sometimes the kiwis (and about a thousand other things today) are calling. My goal is to continue my Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting schedule, but I may be integrating more videos, images, and links posts.

I’m also open to suggestions. What interests you the most? What do you get the most out of? What would you like me to talk about more? Less? Let me know in the comments section!

  1. Coincidental as I read an article on this morning (How Green is the Internet – Greenpeace ranks the big online players) that spotlights both the ethical and economic dynamic between producers and producers. From the article one can assume that most of the ‘green’ motivation recorded has been fueled largely by in-house idealists. Which is not too surprising given that most of the people who produce their ‘product’ are techies…who typically tend to be environmentally aware. But to see a similar surge toward green power in more traditional product producers (from fuel to hamburgers), the impetus for change will probably have to come from the consumers; i.e., people stop buying from company A and switch to company B because company be is publicly (and measurably) shifting toward green forms of energy to generate their product. Soooo….perhaps one of the most important choices an individual can make is who to buy from. If enough people consciously make that decision, and enough others join in the crusade, the change will inevitably be forced on company A to follow suit. Which brings me to the point: Probably the most important you, as an individual, can do is make a conscious choice regarding each and every product you typically consume. And if you can’t find an accurate chart that rates producers of specific products, then start making some noise to get that done. In other words, start Doing It. And if the measurements (comparisons) aren’t available, start Making Noise until they are. Again, like the quote I’ve mentioned before: “If girls decide they prefer guys who ride horses, watch how quickly they start trading their wheels for hooves.” 😉

    • P.S. .I forgot to add the tag “” at the end of the link in the parenthesis. Maybe you could do it for me?

      • Emma said:

        Got it. I agree with you in some ways, but I think “conscious consumerism” has a lot of issues, too. I’ll address this more in later post(s), but among other issues–what about things we can’t buy? What about people who do not have the financial wherewithal to make the kind of choices conscious consumerism demands? How do we make sure we’re sending the “right” signals by buying or not buying certain things–I’m thinking about things like the organic food that uses a huge amount of plastic packaging. If I buy it, I’m signaling a willingness to buy plastic packaging as much as a willingness to buy organic.

  2. I try to be green to make a lesser dent in the planet myself. I hope it has a bigger contribution too but the reduction for me is to try and be more responsible personally.

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