"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

29 July 2011


There has been some talk recently about individuals doing the right thing for the Earth is good, but it’s not enough. Little actions are important, but given the scale of the challenges that we now face, we all need to step up our efforts to a higher level. I tend to think of it as a “ladder of influence”. The bigger the action, the further the ripples of change will spread.

If you do nothing else, then please think about doing these:

1. Buy organic; don’t buy food that has been sprayed with poison, aka herbicide and pesticide. It’s just not a good idea. Buy local, from farmers who embrace sustainable practices. Or grow your own – if I can grow my own beansprouts on board a rowboat, then anybody with a windowsill has no excuse. Beansprouts are cheap, tasty, and pack a powerful nutritional punch.

2. Walk more, drive less – it’s good for your body and good for the planet. And good for your wallet too.

3. Never again use a “disposable” plastic object. Take your own reusable grocery bag, water bottle, and coffee cup.

4. Get active: find a local issue that means something to you – something good to support (like a communal organic garden, or a ban-the-bag campaign) or something bad to oppose (like the destruction of a woodland) – and use it as a focus to create an interest group. It doesn’t have to be a lonely experience trying to save the world – reach out to your community, and support each other.

5. Get political: find a bigger issue that concerns you, and write to your elected representative, or the head of the relevant company. Write to the local newspaper, or even a national one. Make your views known. Stand up and be counted – and urge your friends and family to do the same. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead).

6. Make time to get connected with nature. Make time to get connected to yourself. Make time to get connected to others. It’s all about connection.

7. Finally, and most importantly, spread the word. Everybody reading this blog has a part to play. You are all spreading ripples in your communities. Everything you think, say and do, declares to the world what your values are, and casts a vote for the kind of future that you want. Use your votes wisely. Your world, your children, and even your future self, will thank you for it.

Forget public relations and public service announcements – word of mouth is still the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. What you say to your neighbour will have a greater impact on him or her than anything they see in the media or online. Your words have an immediacy and a reality and a natural authority that no other form of communication can match. So how will you use your influence? What will you do to spread the good green word, to raise consciousness, inspire action, and make this world a better place?

Read the rest at Roz Savage, Ocean Rower.

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