Environment Think Pieces

let’s stop the ‘one person won’t change anything’ mentality

People have a lot of opinions in 2019. This is something I absolutely love because I think it’s important to have your own voice and opinions. Now, granted not everyone agrees but I doubt there would ever be a world where everyone did. And in all honesty, I think it’d be boring if we did all agree. But there’s a certain type of people however that really block my chakras. These are the people who say that one person won’t make a difference, whether they’re referring to themselves or others. These people come out in all areas of conversation whether it be voting, recycling etc. It annoys me, even more, when people put your efforts down and say that you won’t make a difference. If you don’t want to make a change then that’s on you, but don’t try and put a downer on me for trying.

First of all, it is extremely dismissive when people are trying to make a positive change whether it be to themselves or something else when others say that it won’t make a difference. You don’t have to give the person making a change a Noble Prize or anything but a few words of encouragement wouldn’t hurt. I think it’s really admirable when people decide to be a part of something that might make a difference. These people particularly annoy me when it comes to voting. We are lucky enough in the United Kingdom to have the freedom to vote for who we want in government. This doesn’t always go our way but even being given the chance is good. There are still countries who do not have this luxury. So when you have an opportunity to exercise your right to vote, do it!

There’s no requirement to join a party or start a protest, but even simply just voting makes such a difference. In my area during the recent election, there was a 31.1% turnout. That means that over half of the people in the West Midlands never voted. This may be due to a genuine reason such as illness, ailment, holiday, family emergency etc. But it’s hard to believe that 4.5 million people all couldn’t vote that day. While I understand some might not have voted because they don’t trust the government or don’t know much about politics, it’s easy to have a read up on what each party wants. I really don’t know loads about politics but I just have a quick look at manifestos and try to pick which part relates to my views the most.

Secondly, it can be very closed-minded. When I first started trying to live a more sustainable life, I had a few people tell me that it would make no difference at all. Well, I have done a few calculations that disprove that completely. When I started uni, I used to buy a bottle of water a day from the canteen and even when I was home I probably used to have about three bottled drinks on average a week.

  • 3 x 52 = 468.

My impact on the planet was that every year, I was single-handedly adding 468 more bottles to an already huge amount of plastic that will never decompose. If you look at it from a financial point of view there’s even still a huge difference to be made by swapping from bottled water to a reusable bottle with tap water in it. The bottles of water cost about £1.20 each.

  • 3 x £1.20 = £3.60 a week spent on water.
  • £3.60 x 52 = £187.20 a year that I spend on bottled drinks.
  • £187.20 x 3 = £561.60 is what I would’ve spent over my three years at uni on water.

When I see £561.60, I see a deposit for a house, a holiday with Liam etc. I don’t see 1404 plastic bottles being bought. So just swapping from one simple thing to another means I save loads of money and make a difference to the planet. I now drink either just tap water or some squash from home. These little differences and changes are the actions that have the biggest impact. If the other sixty people in my cohort also switched to bringing in their own reusable bottle that would mean 28,080 less plastic bottles being used. So one person can make a change.

♡ What little differences are you making in your life?

“One person can make a difference and everyone should try” – John F. Kennedy.

Until next time,

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(4) Comments

  1. Thank you very much for writing this post! I’m very passionate about saving the environment and as a result am trying to not buy plastic packaging or anything with palm oil in. I have also been a vegetarian for several years and the number of comments I get from people saying ‘what’s the point it’s already on the shelf, anyway?’, is unbelievable! It’s frustrating that people have the idea that they can’t make a difference as the amount of people saying this working together would make a massive difference!

    I really enjoyed reading this post!

    Abby • http://www.exactlyabby.co.uk

    1. Katie Yvonne says:

      Thanks for reading this post lovely! I’m glad it resonated with you. It can be super hard to be motivated about changing when people pull you down. We’ve just got hold our ground and stay strong! Good luck with all your changes.

      Thank you for reading & have an amazing day.
      Katie x x

  2. I love this post! It is so negative and annoying when you try to do something great or make a difference, and then someone makes a comment that disregards your work.
    Choosing to make a change is choosing to take responsibility for yourself. I don’t see how that can be a bad thing.
    I try to stop buying water bottles as well. I usually take water out with me. x

    1. Katie Yvonne says:

      Thank you so much Laura! It can be so annoying when people are like that, I suppose we just learn to brush them off. Congrats on making your change with the water bottle, it’s often the smallest differences that have the biggest impact. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

      Have a lovely day x

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