When I was young and had little power to actually do anything about the 'grown ups world', I did the few things that I thought would help. My childhood friends and I raised money by selling waffels, cakes and what not to the neighbours to raise money for Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Red Cross and so on. I can also remember endless of times where we picked garbage from the streets around where I lived, and the secret promises we made that we would never ever in the world buy a car. For this promise we actually made a 'cliss hands' promise - which is basically what it sounds like; spitting in ones hand and then shake it afterwords. It is the slightly lesser dangerous promise than the blood promise. Somehow I feel that I still must honour this promise, and I have not yet bought a car. If I buy one it will definitely be one that is really (!) green. One doesn't really know the consequences of breaching a cliss hands promise.
Later in life I pursued my passion by studying international environmental law, and now I am one of those lucky few who are actually working 100% green in renewable energy law. Although I have come across a disgruntled property owner or two in practice who are not too content about the prospect of getting a wind mill park next to their peaceful swamp, I feel that the work I do is generally decent. It is a great feeling.
Although it is a great feeling working green - in today's world - with the imminent and horrific threat of global warming, ocean acidification, depletion of wild life and so on and so on - it is not enough. Awareness and action are invaluable. However, despite all my knowledge and despite all my efforts I find myself knowing too little and forgetting too much. Sometimes on the brink of giving up.
Yes. I have been buying organic for the past few years. But what about the organic food that has been flown in by plane or tanked in by ships. Is it better to go local?
Yes. I have been buying local when the opportunity arises. Especially in England, where this is affordable. However, in Norway, local food is insanely expensive and has put me off.
Yes. I have been boycotting H&M since the documentary from Sweden came about. I have been happy with the thought that Zara was given a higher score for giving its workers a fairer salary. However, in Greenpeace's latest report it reveals that Zara has an unacceptable level of toxins in its clothes - potentially cancerous.
Yes. I have been buying shampoo and conditioner from the Body Shop and soap from Lush as that have not been tested on animals. However, the shampoo made my very hair dry and I am longing for my Kerestase products.
Yes. I have been recycling. Although all the recycled material is not separated and weirdly goes into one container.
Yes. I was a vegetarian for a couple of years. But I loved fish and meat too much to give it up. Is this an unacceptable selfish position to take in today's society although I make sure I buy free range and organic, and I never eat red meat?
And then. Things that are simply NO. Flights to see my loved ones more times than absolutely necessary. My long, hot showers. I know. They are the worst. Not environmentally friendly at all. But oh-so-good.
Enough said. I have decided that my actions should be louder and clearer. It is not enough to speak about change. And it is not a good enough reason to say I forget or am confused.
My childhood self knew instinctively that no matter how small you are or how little your effort is, it is valuable. So I will continue to strive to be a better person for the environment. No matter how confusing and saddening it is that I cannot be simply good, or purely green. I just got to do my best.
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