In the second of a two-part rebel guide for the home activist, Wanstead Climate Action member Tina Nieman Da Costa explains how reading and writing can help save the environment
Taking your carefully worded, attention-grabbing placard on the virus-riddled Tube and onto the streets of Westminster to be a visible reminder of dissatisfaction of the Establishment may not be an option for now. But this does not mean that you, as an activist, are restricted to angry ramblings on social media. Instead, take flight into new avenues of civil disobedience. Here are a few ways to make an effective statement of rebellion and take on the man from the comfort of your home office.
Stop the shop
The fast fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to our carbon spend. An incredible 10% of all human carbon emissions can be traced back to the fashion industry and up to 85% of textiles end up in landfills. Fashion is also responsible for the second largest consumption of water and a high rate of industrial run-off during the dying process. With online sellers booming, and the temptation to spend to feel good stronger than ever, it’s time for a radical rethink. Are we human or are we consumers?
Only 2% of plastic is recycled, yet production in the UK was around 1.7 million tonnes in 2020, 44% of which was destined for packaging. In this capitalist state of mind, the only way to curve this upward trend is at the point of demand. In a free market, you vote with your wallet.
Then there’s the human cost. People are working in warehouses and factories, risking infection to produce and deliver stretchy sofa covers, dancing Santas and the occasional sex toy, none of which are likely to be missed in any household. Amazon profits doubled during the pandemic, yet the people working on the warehouse floors have not seen an increase in their working standards. Furthermore, the tax-dodging tactics of these corporations mean that when their employees get COVID-19, we are picking up the tab.
Information is power, misinformation is dangerous. Read judiciously, but read a lot. Critical thinking is in short supply; expand your horizons one page at a time now travelling to the world’s cultural centres is not an option.
Letter writing really does work. Did you know that if your local councillors get more than three letters on any given subject, they are obliged to call it in for scrutiny? You can also write to or email your MP; they were elected to represent you and it’s their duty to take your concerns into consideration and onto the floors of Parliament. You don’t need to be Marcus Rashford to bring change, but you do need to be persistent, so be prepared to write several letters before getting a response.