When faced with companies and governments who do not necessarily do as much as we need and want them to do when it comes to sustainability, it is common for people to wonder what they, as individuals, could possibly do. It can be frustrating when the ‘powers that be’ are not doing enough. But we all have to remember that, as consumers (and voters) we all have the power to drive sustainable change.
One of the biggest barriers to sustainable change for individuals is the sense that small individual actions don’t really matter, and that each small step towards sustainability is just a drop in the ocean. But small individual actions do add up. And they can make a big difference.
Remember, as individuals, we have power, individually and collectively, as consumers. We influence products, research and development, processes, transparency and more through the things we choose – and, crucially – choose not to buy.
As more and more people wake up to the issues of environmentalism and sustainability, and demand sustainable products and services – believe me – companies are taking note. While we may wish for other motivations – money talks. With the rising wave of sustainability minded consumers, companies are recognising where the tide is turning. They can see where money is to be lost, and where money can be made.
More and more, companies – driven by consumer demands and purchasing choices – are being forced into doing more than just paying lip service to green issues. We, as individuals, just have to remember that we have a lot more power than we think to forward a sustainable agenda – simply through our purchasing decisions – through the things we buy.
So we have to keep going. We have to reward companies doing the right thing, and withhold our support (financial and otherwise) from companies that are not. It really is a simple thing. But my thinking very, very carefully about each and every thing we buy, we really can keep driving things in the right direction.