We were sitting in an airless conference room somewhere in Bermuda when my former boss stood to address the room. He was the VP of Sales and I was still a relatively new Merchandiser, low on the sales totem pole with little to no experience working with him.
Unlike the other corporate execs, this man had a smile on his face. Unlike the rest of us, maybe he actually got to enjoy the pink sand and sunshine, but after hearing him speak, I realized he was different from the others. He was kind, but most importantly, he was positive.
Before he spoke, he looked around the room and shook his head. I’m sure he could feel the thick cloud of negativity as soon as he walked in. A group of the sales team were feeling defeated. The company was introducing new software that some of the older reps refused to embrace and the changes were stressing them out. In hindsight I realize those guys must have felt the beginning of the end.
I was expecting the typical sales pep talk. Something along the lines of “Follow up, follow up, follow up”, “Always be closing”, or “Get out there and make things happen!”, but what I heard was a little bit life changing.
This man, our VP of Sales said, “Listen people. I believe you can wake up and decide what kind of day you’re going to have, because if you really think about it, every day is an opportunity to be happy. You can choose to be negative or you can choose to be positive, but I recommend choosing the positive because negativity can be exhausting.”
I considered his words and of course immediately thought of all the reasons someone might find it impossible to consciously or subconsciously be negative. Maybe they’re chronically sick, in mourning over losing a child or living in a war-torn country, but then I realized, that was his point. If we aren’t battling clinical depression and we’re in a healthy state of body and mind we can choose how we want to look at life.
The news these days feels dire. We have a global pandemic that doesn’t want to quit, an authoritarian dictator trying to overtake the world and a tidal wave called Climate Change headed straight for us. Most therapists would tell us not to worry about things that are out of our control, but I’d like to think in some small way, doing something… anything… can make us feel better, especially when it comes to Climate Change.
I’m no Climate Scientist, but Jonathan Foley, the Executive Director of Project Drawdown is. He’s an Environmental Scientist, a sustainability expert, author and public speaker. So what is Drawdown? “Drawdown is the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. This is the point when we begin the process of stopping further climate change and averting potentially catastrophic warming. It is a critical turning point for life on Earth.”
Did you get that? We can begin the process of stopping further change and averting wicked levels of warming before it becomes catastrophic! This is our opportunity to do something positive!
Combating Climate Change can be empowering and if we each do something to solve it, we can even make it manageable. That’s because many of the solutions that will fix our planet are do-able actions we can take on a personal level.
According to Drawdown.org in order to reach a “drawdown” level, we must get carbon emissions to zero, stop destroying old growth forests like the Amazon, and focus on the impact climate change is having on the world’s poorest populations because they suffer from the effects of climate change the most. Yeah, this may all sound impossible but “drawing down” isn’t about abruptly changing everything. It’s about turning down the heat before the pot of water boils.
This is the best time and the biggest opportunity we have to save our planet. Each of us has the power to influence major corporations and change our behaviors, and the war Putin ignited is proof we can do that. Look at how many companies around the globe have pulled out of Russia now that Putin has begun his attack on Ukraine.
If we can collaborate to save people who are at risk of dying from war, why can’t we combine our efforts to save people who are at risk of dying from Climate Change? Did you know that burning fossil fuels kills over 8 million people a year, and just like war, most of them are children or those living in low income areas?
Yeah, that fact blew me away too. Death from being bombed by an authoritarian dictator or death from breathing in particles caused by fossil fuels… hmmm… seems to me we can prevent one of those things from happening. Do you really want your children or grandchildren to ask why we didn’t do anything to stop Climate Change?
Take a peek at the Drawdown.org website for a full list of Solutions and how to incorporate them into your daily life but for now, let ME suggest the following:
10 WAYS TO DRAWDOWN WITH ME
- Go plastic-free when buying everyday essentials & beauty supplies (start a with small significant change, like shampoo). There are some great products out now that won’t sacrifice your style, comfort or routine for the sake of the planet. Here’s a list of earth-friendly brands we LOVE…
- Shop locally and support your local stores, farmer’s markets, and businesses. Make your dollars more impactful and buy items that are ethically USA MADE, fair trade or purchased secondhand!
- Commit to never using single-use plastic bags and get your local stores to stop offering them.
- Cut back on your consumption of processed foods, meat, and dairy. Stick to fresh foods to bypass all the single-use plastic packaging and chemicals, reduce your meat intake to one or two times per week, and switch to Oat Milk… you won’t know the difference, I promise!
- Compost your food scraps. Seriously, methane released by rotting food in landfills is a big contributor to heating up our planet! Find ways to compost here if you have a yard and here if you live in an apartment, condo or anywhere without yard access.
- Start a garden. Grow vegetables, fruits, and plants native to your zone that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies (be sure to use the compost you’ve created above). If you’re limited on space, start a small herb garden inside!
- Keep your indoor appliances up to date. Make sure your refrigerator isn’t leaking coolant and fix or replace it if it is. Need a new oven? Get an electric oven instead of a gas one. Gas ovens leak methane even when they’re not in use.
- Only purchase laundry detergents and household cleaners that won’t harm you, our water supply and our air.
- Lower or raise your thermostat depending on the weather. This is an easy way to help the planet and will save you money too.
- Cut back on driving your car, only using it when necessary. Try to walk, bike or take public transportation when you can. If you must drive, try renting an electric or hybrid vehicle for vacations or longer commutes. Can’t afford a new car? Then support legislation for the Postal Service to make their fleet fully electric. This is the perfect example of how voting for environmentally conscious political leaders can help us and our planet.
There are many, many more actions we can take, and according to Climate Scientists, no action is too small. The thing is, the more we do, the more positive we become. It’s fun and empowering when we adopt these greener alternatives.
Just like that VP of Sales said, we can choose to look at Climate Change negatively or we can look at it as a positive opportunity. This is our moment! It’s our chance to wake up feeling happy, knowing our personal choices really do have an impact. So get out there and “Follow up, follow up, follow up!”
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
Let ME know:
What are some easy everyday ways you lessen your impact on the environment?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below!