Sustaining the Environment – Beginning with Ourselves

The process of working with a climate change charity, especially hand in hand with Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Tipping Point’, has been incredibly beneficial in helping me to recognise the importance of how our individual behaviours impact our environment. 
Our whole project has been focused on how creating a real shift in our sense of empathy and care for geographically distant communities will translate into behaviours that create a positive change and broaden how we see our responsibility being towards the planet as a whole and not just our immediate setting. However, it is important to remind ourselves as individuals working on these projects that our ideas are at risk of becoming quite hollow if we ourselves aren’t living out the values that we are hoping our proposed ideas will bring out in others. 

I have really been challenged by the positive work that Size of Wales is doing, it has brought to light in my mind many issues that I have not especially engaged with before. Particularly it has highlighted to me the importance of actually thinking about the products I am consuming and using, and considering the process they have gone through to reach me. It is so easy to overlook how our products are made and sourced, and often ignore the possibility that a large part of this process is damaging and unethical. The sources of many ingredients remain anonymous without investigation and so it is easy to turn off our minds to the damage we are actually encouraging through the purchasing of these products. 

Since beginning this project I have become a lot more aware of the responsibility I have to check that what I am consuming is not something that is damaging the environment. Reminding myself to actively consider the communities directly affected by environmentally damaging practice is beginning to shape the way I view my own behaviours. We need to widen our viewpoints if we are to expect positive changes to happen, it can become so easy to dismiss our own contribution to climate change, or fall into the thought pattern that, using the example of deforestation, because the damage isn’t being done directly in front of my eyes that it doesn’t matter.  I can also recognise a need in myself to stop expecting that someone else will take responsibility for looking after our planet – and in fact remember we each individually need to see the importance of the changes we can make to help to sustain the environment. 



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