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Earth Day: Change comes from within

Earth day. I don't know how many failed climate conferences. Politicians looking to the side. Industry giants who continue to pollute as if this were not with them. Like there's a planet B to go to when we've decimated this one.

Many years ago I worked in an NGO that, among other things, put pressure on governments and companies to change things. It was excellent institutional advocacy work, at all levels, inside and outside of Spain. We worked together with other famous non-governmental organizations and associations so that, for example, binding agreements could be reached at the COPs (Climate Conferences held periodically by the United Nations). Despite our efforts, the steps we took were tiny.

During that time, it filled me with sadness and stress to contemplate the negative data that came to us every day. Until my vision changed to become more positive. The change has to come from within. It is we, the citizens, who have to change our consumption habits to change the world. Once we're ready, let's put pressure on those at the top to do things the way they should. And it's not a hippy-utopian aspiration. I explain why I think so.

Governments, companies and institutions must continue to be pressured for things to change. Of course. But deep down it is a cultural, cultural-global question of how we humans understand things. They (those in charge) do not change because it is culturally accepted that things continue as they are, so it is also up to us (society) to force that paradigm shift within our own lives. With our example. I know that many of you will say: the fact that I recycle or become a vegetarian does not change anything. Well, it does change. A population is a sum of individuals, like you and me. With certain habits. If that population, through their gestures, their way of acting and seeing life, their habits, achieves a significant change, we will have achieved a world.

Finland imports garbage

A very clear example that illustrates what I just told. Finland imports garbage. How do you read it? This frigid northern European country not only produces no waste; It has reached such a point of efficiency in its waste management that it needs to import garbage to be able to generate part of its energy. Its inhabitants, educated in civility and solidarity, have tremendously internalized an effective recycling system. Perhaps you will tell me: yes, but Finland is a great oil producer; but what you may not know is that Finland is practically self-sufficient with renewable energy. This is a clear example of how the environmental future of a country depends on the collaboration of its citizens.

What can you do?

1. Recycle . You don't need to delve into this topic, do you?

2. Consume wisely. We need things to live, that's clear, but before buying something think carefully if you really need it. For example, if you buy fashion, buy basics that will last forever and that are combinable. Whenever you can, support what's done in Spain (I know it's difficult, especially with fashion).

3. Consume local foods . Try to eat products that are in season and that come from local producers, or as close as possible. Greengrocers usually stock up on local produce and it always comes on the label, ask your trusted one.

4. Make sure that the products you consume and eventually discard do not have polluting elements , since these components contaminate the environment. Obviously, this will be within our possibilities, since at the moment I can't think of a substitute for certain cleaning products, for example. But a good place to start is with natural cosmetics: natural cosmetics use environmentally friendly biodegradable materials.

5. Reduce meat consumption . I'm not telling you to go vegetarian or vegan if you don't want to, but try to reduce your weekly meat intake as much as possible. Meat consumption is known to be one of the main causes of climate change. There is a very interesting project promoted by the McCartney family (yes, the Beatles) called Meat Free Monday, which basically says that if the world population decided not to eat meat at least one day a week (Mondays for example) the effect on the climate (positive, that is) would be brutal. I have the recipe book, the Meat Free Monday Cookbook , and it's amazing how delicious they are. The photos are taken by Paul McCartney's eldest daughter, Mary, and celebrities like Kevin Spacey or Vivienne Westwood have participated with their recipes

6. Although the change can take place within us, we need institutional support. Start by proposing measures to your town hall. They are increasingly willing to citizen participation.

I didn't plan on doing this blog post, but I started writing and it got me off the hook. I think many of us have this topic deep inside and it is important that it come out from time to time. Thank you for coming this far and if you have any comments you can leave them below.

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