Hello, loyal readers (read: three of my housemates and the spider that sits in the corner of my room, watching as I type). It is the new year! 2019, what a date. It feels kind of transitionary, doesn’t it? We’re almost at 2020 but we must wait one more year before the ‘20’s, or, as I like to call it, the decade of the Gatsby parties (can’t wait for that, to be honest).
But yes, New Year’s Eve has been and gone. I, like many people, went hard, had a lovely evening, and went home, happy in the knowledge that I was going to get up in the morning and get on with the rest of my life, as a shining example of ‘a young woman of grace and integrity’.
I did not. I woke up with a raging hangover and vomited. This is an inauspicious start to the year, but the only way is up, right? However, it does call to mind all the things that people promise they will do in January of each year. For some reason it’s always something superficial, isn’t it? People want to get thinner, go to the gym, or ‘read more’ (as an author, I can tell you that this is a worthy goal, but maybe a bit irrelevant. Buy my book here). The thing is that people are not focusing on the big issues:
- The huge amount of plastic we are using.
- The lack of advancement in affordable sustainable living.
- The way we treat each other.
The problem here, in my opinion, is that we are getting used to treating things and people as disposable. Is your Tupperware stained? Bin it. Is your room dark? The curtain is like ten metres away and Alexa can turn the light on with no effort on my part. Am I finding my relationship stagnant? Bitch, I am already on Tinder finding a new partner.
This is not sustainable. It should be abundantly clear that we, as a society, cannot treat everything we use (people included) as if disposing of them will have no consequences on our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our planet. This year, we should not aim to lose weight or get ripped, or whatever boring resolutions we make time and time again. We should instead make resolutions that are both holistically good for society and for ourselves.
- Want to lose weight? Go vegan, or vegetarian, or try reducing the amount of red meat in your diet.
- Want to get ripped? Exchange the car for a bike or your own two feet.
- Want to read more? Research the amount of plastic that is floating around our oceans, choking creatures that cannot adapt to the amount of waste we are producing.
Wikipedia (@every teacher I have ever had, I am sorry) describes the people who came of age during the 1920’s, ‘the lost generation’, as ‘disoriented, wandering, directionless’, words can also be used to describe Generation Z. Our world is crumbling around us due to the actions of our parents and our parents’ parents and we do not know what to do. It may not be our fault, but it is our problem.
And what’s the problem?
Nine million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year (a figure set to double by 2030).
The president of the United States, a global superpower, denies that Climate Change is a pressing threat.
Shanghai, Bangkok, Manila, and Jakarta will be underwater in eighty years.
Some species of plants and animals are disappearing between 1,000 and 10,000 faster than the natural extinction rate.https://www.eco-business.com/news/be-afraid11-scary-facts-stats-and-lies-about-our-planet-this-halloween/
But there is hope! We are by far the most connected and ‘woke’ (God, I hate that word) generation there has been. Many people my age have asked me and ‘Professor Google’ how to reduce waste and meat use, signalling a major change in the way that people are thinking. If people act on their New Year’s resolutions now, and start living more sustainably, then it is not too late. In fact, sustainability doesn’t have to be the way to describe it. It’s not a matter of sustaining the planet, it’s a matter of being kind.
- Be kind to your body – feed it healthy foods.
- Be kind to your planet – reduce plastic waste.
- Be kind to each other – through your actions. Avoidable environmental damage will destroy communities, and a lot of them are in poorer parts of the world (another article to come soon).
The young people in the 1920’s were called ‘the lost generation’. Please don’t let the young people of the 2020’s be the last generation.
This year, let kindness, not hatred rule you.
For more positivity, look up #hopepunk.