I was stopped in my tracks when I was reading a book this week. For those who know me, you’ll know I'm a total bookworm and I read a lot. It’s not often that I get fixated on a page and read it over and over again, but this page stirred something in me.
Although I have always preferred a plate of vegetables over meat, I’ve never really declared myself a vegetarian, and over the past year whilst spending more time at home, I’ve realised that eating dairy doesn't make me feel so good. That’s why recently, I’ve been eating a much more plant based diet.
We all know that changing habits is hard and it’s something which certainly doesn’t happen overnight, so when it comes to changing my own habits, I like to start small and start slowly. Everybody is different but for me going the whole hog all at once never works - it took me two years to give up alcohol completely!
Bear with me, as we’ll get back to that book in a second. Being a bookworm, when I want to try new things, I always read a book. Recently, my brother recommended Rich Roll to me, who completely turned his life around by switching to a plant-based diet. He competes in ultra, superhuman marathons and triathlons now, and he’s totally inspiring to read about on so many levels.
Before he turned his life around, he talked about his wife, who ate a plant based diet and did yoga. He said ‘“She understood a crucial spiritual principle I’d yet to grasp. You can stand in the light. And you can set a positive example. But you cannot make someone change.”
And this is what stopped me. Because this is how I see the Baba+Boo community. You are all beacons of light. Every single one of you. There’s so much pressure on consumers to make changes to avert the climate crisis, when really this pressure should be on big corporations and businesses. Guilt gets put on your already heavy shoulders - eat less meat, switch off your lights, fly less, buy less… the list of demands for consumers is never ending. While we know small actions make a big difference if we all work together, we also know that there’s just 20 firms behind ⅓ of all carbon emissions. Consumer pressure is what will eventually force these businesses to change, but the onus that’s placed on individuals isn't fair, so give yourself a break!
This can be incredibly taxing - especially for parents. New parents are already handed a truck load of guilt as soon as their baby arrives, and this added climate guilt isn’t healthy. There are lots of small things we can do to make change happen, but don’t underestimate the things that seem small. Showing your cloth nappy to a friend, talking to your midwife about them and using them at nursery. That’s you standing in the light.
Feeling helpless is a feeling we are all accustomed to now after living with a pandemic, but just by standing in the light, you are making the biggest of impacts. So never stop being a beacon, you’re helping to make the world a better place.