Shake-uppers and aspiring shake-uppers, are you ready for a challenge?
We just left behind another inspiring week, a week of active participation; a week made up of marches, protests, and digital buzz all around the world; a week full of questions, objections, doubts.
Climate change touches all of us differently, inspires all of us uniquely, and motivates all of us individually. While the challenge is real, the sense of urgency and the feeling of opportunity are very subjective.
As an aspiring shake-upper, I feel like my role is to learn, discuss, and foster an open-minded conversation. Only by increasing awareness and consideration will we be able to create the conditions to make an impact.
Right here, right now, we have the opportunity to make a difference. Our role is to act and to do it now. To start doing so, we can use a challenge.
Shake-uppers and aspiring shake-uppers, are you ready for the #ShakeUppersActNow challenge?
Climate change and life change
My philosophy on climate change reflects my philosophy in life. I believe in the power of learning and improving during our entire lives. I value the growth-minded approach of people ready to know more, to understand and work on themselves—on their beliefs, thoughts, and habits—to make things happen and embrace change.
Regarding climate change, I believe that there are responsibilities that are bigger than individuals. For these responsibilities, we can only rely on the ethics, professionalism, and integrity of people who can make things happen. When we know that what they are doing is not enough, we have the right and the responsibility to show up, march, protest, and influence, bringing the attention to the next level.
I also believe that there are responsibilities that we all have at the individual level. Every single day we make dozens of micro-decisions and we perform dozens of micro-actions that have an impact on the environment. And while we may think that one individual action doesn’t count, that is not correct. One single action multiplied by 7.53 billion people in the world has the power of making an impact. It is not my opinion; it is mathematics.
Instead of saying, “This is what everybody does” to justify a mindless behavior, we should shake up our way of thinking and start saying, “This is what I can do.”
I like to think of myself as an aspiring shake-upper. Shake-uppers are people who see the need for change and who are ready to embrace it. They take action. They start small with the micro-decisions, micro-moments, and micro-activities of their daily lives.
From now on, I will try harder than before, harder than yesterday to make even a small impact. I won’t be perfect at first. I will make mistakes for sure, but I will learn how to adjust my behaviors and other habits to cultivate a much-needed change.
If you want to become a shake-upper and join me in this adventure of changing ourselves to change the world, bear with me, as it is time for a challenge. By the way yes, indeed, I said: “to change the world”! 😉
The ActNow challenge: a global call to climate action
ActNow is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change. The campaign is a critical part of the UN’s coordinated effort to raise awareness, ambition, and action for climate change and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
ActNow educates and encourages individual actions, mainly by adjusting consumption patterns. By changing our habits and routines, and making choices that have less harmful effects on the environment, we have the power to confront climate challenge.
ActNow highlights the impact that collective action can have at this critical moment in our planet’s history. The more people act, the bigger the impact.
The official campaign just ended with the UN Climate Summit. As aspiring shake-uppers, we can start from the ten key actions identified by the United Nations that we can take in our daily lives.
So let’s continue the effort of the United Nations with the #ShakeUppersActNow challenge!
How to participate in the #ShakeUppersActNow challenge
Joining the challenge means taking concrete micro-actions. Joining the challenge means working on ourselves to flex our behaviors towards a more mindful approach to the environment. Joining the challenge is easy, fun, and fulfilling.
To join the #ShakeUppersActNow challenge:
1) Select the action or the actions you want to commit to from the ten activities recommended by the United Nations (see the list below).
2) Integrate the actions in your daily life for 21 days.
3) Share the actions daily using the hashtag #ShakeUppersActNow on Instagram and/or Facebook.
Why 21 days? Research says that to have an impact on our behavior, we should repeat an action for at least 21 days. Committing to the #ShakeUpperActNow challenge for 21 days may help in acquiring new—and sustainable—behaviors. It could be the starting point for a more mindful approach to the environment. It is a small (micro) contribution.
We have the power to tackle climate change. Small changes can make a big difference if we all work together.
Are you ready for the #ShakeUppersActNow challenge?
Ten climate actions to spark your creativity:
- Drive less – The transport sector is the fastest growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The main drivers of this growth are light-duty vehicles such as individual cars. Transport accounts for about 64% of global oil consumption, 27% of all energy use, and 23% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions.
- Bring your own bag – Up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used every year. Besides polluting the ocean and environment, plastic bags can increase the transmission of diseases like malaria by clogging sewers.
- Local produce – Buy local and seasonal products! They taste better and are environmentally friendly. Supporting local businesses helps prevent trucks from driving long distances.
- Unplug – The less energy that is used, the less needs to be produced. Although there are climate friendly energy sources, change needs to come from the end-users – residents, businesses, industries – which must control this consumption.
- Recycle – Most plastics, about 80%, never fully decompose; they just get smaller and smaller until they are ingested by fish and animals. Recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminum leads to substantial resource savings and helps landfills from growing.
- Zero-Waste fashion – The fashion industry is the second highest user of water worldwide. 10,000 liters of water is needed to produce one pair of jeans, equivalent to how much water a person drinks in 10 years. By creating new clothes out of old ones, you help to save water and reduce waste.
- Refill and reuse – 1 million plastic bottle are purchased every minute and then discarded, adding to over 300 million tones of plastic waste a year that pollutes our environment.
- 5-minute showers – Water scarcity already affects four out of every ten people. With 80% of wastewater never being treated, taking shorter showers is a great way to save this precious resource.
- Meat-free meals – The meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest companies. Meat production contributes to the depletion of water resources and is the largest driver of deforestation.
- Lights off – When you switch your lights off, even for a few seconds, it saves more energy than it takes for the light to start up, regardless of the bulb type. From now on, always turn the lights off in rooms that aren’t being used.