By Dan Burkitt
Save the Bees
Save the bees. I almost got that tattooed on my leg last summer. I’m glad I didn’t but only because I don’t think I’d suit a tattoo. It would look all wrong. Like the pope wearing jeans.
But why did I almost do it? Because I wanted to mark my skin with a reminder about my commitment to environmentalism.
Your eyes probably just glazed over reading that word. Environmentalism. It’s boring. It’s not sexy. It’s about as exciting as a colonoscopy, but without the excitement of something being put up your arse.
It’s something we mostly choose to ignore. Be that because thinking about the environment and what we’re doing to it – climate change, deforestation, pollution etc etc – makes you feel anxious or ashamed or small and hopeless. Or because it makes you feel nothing at all. But it should.
Environmentalism is already becoming the religion of our times. And it needs to be.
I try to think about all my small actions in relation to their environmental impact. I’m that self-righteous wanker who buys bamboo toothbrushes, second hand clothes, and veggie sausages, thinking that makes me second coming of Christ. And maybe it does.
But what about my big actions? What am I actually doing with my life? How am I helping the environment? Shouldn’t I be on a boat in the middle of the Pacific fishing plastic out the ocean? Or working for a clean energy company or the green party? Or living in an off the grid carbon neutral hippie commune somewhere?
Well I’m not doing any of that. I’m in a church in Brixton making videos about olive oil massage for the over sixties.
But I want everything I’m learning at the moment to eventually be harnessed for the environmental cause. And I want to do that because most of the environmental communications I encounter are maddeningly ineffective. And as we are learning at this school, effective communications really matter.
Most communications about environmentalism are overly preachy. Or they make it seem like an unimportant and annoying hippie side show. Or they’re so full of cataclysmic, it’s-the-end-of-days, doom and gloom, they make you feel like your actions are a hopeless drop in the plastic-filled, polluted ocean.
I want to learn how to do it better. How best to appeal to people. How to make them laugh. How to make them cry. How to make them care.
And it really matters. It matters because The Green Revolution is:
- Actually quite exciting
- Really important
- Heavily reliant on the actions of individuals
If only everyone knew that and believed it. It is within all of our hands to craft a global utopia. That sounds seriously over the top. Because it is. But it’s also true. The health of our planet and societies are entwined. Environmentalism gives people purpose. And it can unite us.
And if we all decided we cared, change would happen. Environmental changes are happening whether we like it or not. So how will we respond?
Small changes matter. Personal responsibility matters. Your actions matter. And the state and health of our planet really fucking matters.
Eat less meat and dairy – or better yet none at all. Reject fast fashion. Use a clean energy supplier. Avoid single use plastics. Fly less. Cycle more. Donate to green causes. Do more. Care more. Think about it more. Talk about it more.
Save the bees.
You don’t have to get it tattooed on your leg but try and think about it every day. Think about what you can do to help build a vibrant, bee-filled, clean, green future.
And if you want to work with me to try and try do something about this big old environmental mess we’re in – contact me. We can discuss it further over a vegan lunch.