Earth Day 2024 - how to take action and make a difference!

Earth Day 2024 - how to take action and make a difference!

Happy Earth Day! 

This week we had the annual day to celebrate our Earth. I always love this day because it is such a fantastic time to reflect on just how incredible our planet is. 

Its journey from a bit of rock to the incredibly complex ecosystem of today that supports billions of different species is awe inspiring. Even more amazing when you remember that it’s an Oasis of life in a galaxy (and who knows how far beyond this!) of no life. These are both such obvious points, but something I think we all, including me, forget. Our Planet is awesome and a unicorn!

It’s also a day to reflect on how vulnerable it is though. How we as humans are taking it for granted and how we are impacting an ecosystem, and an incredible array of animals and plants, that have taken millions of years to develop. 

It seems like such an overwhelming problem though. We all know climate change is an issue. But what can (normal) people like us do about it and is making a change as individuals matter anyway?

This was the question that started my sustainability journey 4 years ago. And Earth Day always makes me reflect on where I started and where I am now. This, in 4 steps, is my action plan for you if Earth Day inspires you to do something. 


Step 1: Feeling Overwhelmed

Climate change is prone to making us feel hopeless, powerless and without any control. The issue is just so enormous and complex. And, as normal people, we lack the agency to make the huge changes needed at a multinational stage. We watch the slow motion car crash of things happening to our planet, and just feel like there is nothing we can do about it. 

That’s how I felt 4 years ago. I still feel like it sometimes today. It’s ok to feel like that, it’s normal. It’s important to acknowledge it, because then you can do something about it. This is Step 1. Just being ok that you feel shit. And this then leads us to Step 2! 

Step 2: Take Control

I’m not a massive fan of Jeff Bezos but he does have a fantastic quote about taking control - “Stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have some control over.”

This is so true. Now applied to Climate Change, we as individuals cannot change the entire world. We cannot move governments or move whole societies. BUT what we can control is OUR actions and what we do. 

That was the second step on my climate journey. I started doing something myself. I quit Beef, I only bought coffee using a reusable cup. I upskilled myself and started recycling better. I started doing my podcast The Greenscore. 

All of this made me feel great. Because I was doing something. I was taking control. I was taking ownership. I did not feel powerless. 

This is not some sort of insight I’ve come up with. We all know the above to be true. We can apply this to anything in our lives. The hard thing though is getting started. So just focus on today, focus on taking one small step. And then the next step, and then the next. You will feel great, you will feel powerful, you will feel some control! 

Step 3: It will build

Progress is not static. Lots of steps become many steps and before you know it you will have enormous momentum. The thing about doing something is you feel great. You feel more in control, so you feel more motivated. So you keep doing more. And the cycle continues!

And so it builds and it builds. And by doing more, it means your personal impact on doing something for the Earth increases. In my personal case, doing my podcast The Greenscore led to Stix. Who knows where I will go beyond this, but the point is what I have done has built and built. 

The thing about doing more as well, is that this then leads to Step 4. 

Step 4: Inspire others

This is the really cool part. As you do more and more, and your friends and family or just anyone in your orbit starts to learn about what you are doing, you will start inspiring others. 

On The Greenscore we did an episode on reusable nappies (and how much better they were for the Planet than disposable single use one’s). A few months later, a friend told me their friend had listened to the episode. And as a result had moved to reusable nappies. It was a fantastic feeling! To know that my change has inspired someone else to change was amazing! 

Even if you don’t cause direct change, you will start a conversation. Your actions will get people thinking about theirs. And they might even end up changing themselves. 

And even if they don’t, what you have done is raised awareness through action. Which is awesome. You see how we started Step 1, feeling powerless. Well now we are at Step 4 and we have made changes and influenced others. We have some control, some power, and we have taken ownership. And it feels great! 

Individual Action

You’ll notice two things about my 4 step plan. 

The first is its focus on individual actions. We can’t change the whole of humanity. There are people with more power than us who can. So normal people like us have to focus on what we can control and influence, and that's our actions. 

Some will tell you it doesn’t matter. But it does. Lots of individual changes will make a difference. They build momentum and they have a ripple effect. And it's through local action like this you build a groundswell of change that can rise up through our society and drive some change. 

The second is that you’ll also see my 4 step plan is nothing new. I’m not a philosopher - feeling powerless and depressed through inaction and feeling powerful and in control with action is something humans have known through thousands of years!

But often the simplest things in life are the hardest. This article is really just an affirmation, in the context of Climate Change, of what we all know. That it's better to do something than nothing. That action = control, inaction = anxiety. 

So if you’re reading this, feeling down about where our planet is going, just take one small step. You will feel great, and our Earth will appreciate it! 

Back to blog

Leave a comment