Thursday, 26 February 2015

Five things you can do now to make a difference...

I joined the Green Party last year and am passionate about the values it stands for and the possibility for change. But it's hard to know how you can make a difference when it feels like the electoral system is rigged against us (all of us!). Well, of course, I think people should vote for what they believe in but I've also found some other ways that I think we as individuals can start to make a real difference and be heard through our actions as well as our votes...

1. Change energy supplier - money talks so what better signal to send than to switch to an energy company that is committed to supplying 100% renewable energy. In this year's Which? survey revealing the best and worst energy companies for customer satisfaction, the two companies that came out on top were Ecotricity at one and Good Energy at two.

2. Be mindful of what you buy - we are so lucky in Lambeth to have so many incredible local shops and markets. It really makes me sad to see how society in general is so obsessed with consumerism and since going to see The Minimalists on tour last year in London I've been happily de-cluttering and not spending on superfluous things. So, I would encourage everyone to think about what people and things are adding value to your life and then try to live more consciously.

3. Eat less meat, fish and dairy - after watching the screening of Cowspiracy with the Lambeth Green Party this month I've had my eyes opened to the impact agriculture has on the environment. Already fascinated with nutrition and using diet to manage symptoms of my own chronic health condition, I'm now happily working my way through the recipes in Ella Woodward's new book, Deliciously Ella - cooking that is healthier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly, what's not to like about that!

4. Show kindness and be thankful - as cheesy as it might sound to some, I really do believe in building a society for the common good. All too often, especially in London, I have found myself rushing around, unable or incapable of stopping to appreciate the small things. Well, a couple of weeks ago I went to a workshop with the Museum of Happiness at Roots and Shoots in Kennington. It reinforced a lot of the things I've learnt over the last few years, that living in the moment and showing gratitude and sympathy towards people around you, really can have a significant impact on your own health and well being.

5. Show that you care about people, community and the environment - media success is measured in views and engagement. A really simple thing you can do is read articles that sound interesting and if you really do find them interesting share them on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat - wherever is authentic for you. The more that other people, the media and organisations can see that we care about these issues, the more notice they will take.
And in the run up to the election, data analysts will be watching even closer than ever to see how our clicks will influence the results in May.

I wanted to write this after listening to Donnachadh McCarthy, author of The Prostitute State, at last month's speaker dinner. He reminded us of Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote and it's something that keeps sticking in my mind...

'be the change that you wish to see in the world'

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