20 things you can do to be part of a movement for change:
TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY – don’t wait for others to lead; there are lots of things you can (should) do; don’t wait for the government, trade union, church, voluntary organisation; don’t give up before you even begin.
LEARN A BIT MORE ABOUT THE ISSUES – we cannot all be experts in everything but learn more about the issues that concern you; get beyond the clichés and into the substance of the issue.
DON’T AVOID THE ISSUES – talk about them with family, friends, at work, in school, at church; you’ll be surprised at how many also care.
START SMALL – whatever we choose to do, make sure it is doable with a bit of effort, so start small and build up.
ENCOURAGE YOUR GROUP TO DO SOMETHING –most of us are members of groups; schools, churches, trade unions, women’s groups, work places; be heard.
CHALLENGE PREJUDICE AND LETHARGY – challenging prejudice and indifference is vital; don’t let others argue nothing can bedone about anything or that everything that is wrong is the fault of a particular group etc.
END FOOD WASTE – a third of the world’s entire food supply could be saved by reducing waste - or enough to feed 3 billion people; and this would still leave enough surplus for countries to provide their populations with 130% of their nutritional requirements.
EAT LESS MEAT – current levels of meat consumption worldwide cannot be sustained into the future; the cost of producing the meat we eat (and waste) is too high; if everyone ate meat at the level of Australians, Europeans and Americans, the pressure on the earth’s resources would be too great. Think about reducing your meat consumption by one day per week.
REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE – why waste when you don’t need to, why not recycle, it makes sense and there is so much stuff we could re-use.
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANISATION – there are so many organisations in your community that could do with your help and or your skills, check them out.
WRITE A LETTER, SEND AN EMAIL, MAKE A PHONE CALL – we all encounter situations where we say ‘someone should…’; this time make that someone you – write a letter, send an email or make a call to ask for change, to support a cause, to make your views heard; governments, companies, voluntary organisations will respond if enough of us make our voices heard.
SUPPORT A CAUSE – there are lots of issues each of us care about – world hunger and poverty, women’s rights, the environment. Become active in supporting something you believe in; share your income however small, share your time, share your skills, share your voice.
SUPPORT A CHARITY OR VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION – most of us can afford to do more…stop making excuses and putting it off; choose a cause/organisation and support it, regularly.
RAISE THE ISSUES AT ELECTION TIME – politicians tell us issues of world poverty and hunger etc. are almost never raised with them at election time; why not change this…elections are when we get a chance to say what we think.
CHOOSE ETHICALLY – it is important to make sure that what we buy has been produced or sourced ethically – make sure that people, the planet, animals are not injured or damaged as a result of our ‘choices’; demand that companies act ethically and responsibly. Buy preferentially from those that do.
VOLUNTEER – 4/5 hours per month won’t hurt and you will get a lot from it too.
RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT – abuse of the planet through overconsumption and pollution hurts everyone especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
TELL THE GOVERNMENT to do better, much better on issues such as the environment, world hunger, women’s rights – the list is
endless; the more who say this, the more they will be forced to listen.
TURN STUFF DOWN OR OFF – switches, bulbs, TVs, heaters, engines etc., you know it makes sense.
POST,TEXT,TWITTER – social media provide us with a great platform upon which to be active; use them.
Adapted from: Michael Doorly, Tony Daly, Ciara Regan and Colm Regan (2015) Everyday Activism, Concern Worldwide, Dublin.