In the face of climate change, the importance of individual action can seem trivial. The argument is that calls for individual action guilt people into taking action that will not have any impact on the overall state of the climate. Individual actions, these people argue, are a drop in the bucket, a pointless protest that masks the need for systemic change. Yet, there are those who believe in the power of individual actions. Individual actions over the course of a lifetime can have a massive impact on the climate, even if one specific action seems small.
There is research that shows that even though a person’s contribution to climate change may be small, those actions can have significant knock-on effects by influencing other people and helping to shift people’s perception of what is “normal”. For instance, one survey that looked into the effect of someone giving up flying on their social circle, found that half of respondents were inspired to at least reduce the amount of flying that they did. Three-quarters of those respondents said that their attitudes toward flying had changed as a result of that example. The power of example is magnified when a high-profile person or someone highly respected within a group, gives up flying. In such instances, two-thirds of respondents reported flying less because of the example of that person. Just 7% of respondents said they were unaffected by such an example.
It’s tempting to think that these people are impressionable because they were already in the environmentalist’s choir. Yet, the underlying numbers suggest that this is not the case. In fact, the survey respondents flew much more than average.
One reason why an example is such a powerful driver of change is that the drasticness of an action has a way of conveying the seriousness of an issue and the contribution of an action to climate change. Example shows the link between values and action. It also makes people feel that taking action to fight climate change will not be as socially isolating as they may have feared.
Companies have grown in response to the desire by many people to take individual actions to combat climate change. The meat industry, for example, contributes massively to climate change, and Beyond Meat, among other firms, have arisen to provide lab-grown meat to the consumer market. Beyond Meat is aiming to convert not just vegans, but meat-eaters who are open to alternative meats, into customers. Beyond Meat understands that in order for change to be sustainable, the alternative to climate-harming products and actions should provide the same levels of enjoyment as traditional products and actions. Individual action needs to be both consistent and free of hypocrisy. People hate hypocrisy. If the president flies to a climate change conference and drives around there in a 14-vehicle entourage, or a celebrity talks about the need for fighting climate change while their lives show a demonstrably high carbon footprint, people’s sensibilities are offended. It is essential that in taking individual action, that you are consistent and not hypocritical, so that your actions have the most impact on those around you. You can be sure that at dermani Medspa Franchising, the carbon footprint of our business model is small and growing smaller.