So another round of climate talks come to an end, with another round of protests, and another set of deeply insufficient promises and targets in place.
Once again, political integrity is called into question. Worldwide, people like me are frustrated that they are not taking action. They aren’t doing anything – our political representatives.
And yet, I can’t help but think that part of that frustration comes from our own desire that they will solve our crisis for us; with solutions that will require little to no change on our part.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve always taken the view that there was little point in individual action when industrial polluters were able to continue unabated on a massive scale. That, whilst governments are still this level of destruction, my actions were not worth changing. But this year something in me changed. I admitted to myself that I was making excuses. Politics might not be changing yet – but I can’t use that as an excuse to not take any action myself. To do so would display a huge lack of integrity. A lack of integrity that I’ve never wanted to admit to before. A lack of integrity that would make me like them.
So, as we approach Christmas, I’m making more sustainable shopping decisions, and buying less overall. It’s not a perfect solution yet, but hopefully I’m starting to move the needle in the right direction.
We might not be able to solve the problem of our politicians’ integrity. But, by taking little steps towards making better buying choices – including buying enough instead of buying to excess – we can start by facing up to our own.