Forest Fires and Changes We Need (09.14.2020)
As a lot of you know (maybe some of you don't) wildfires are burning in the PNW right now and Portland has the worst air in the world at the moment. There's a lot of "doom and gloom" in the air and negativity / hopelessness spreading on social media. Maybe you're one of those who feels hopeless. Like there's nothing you can do. I would like to remind you though, that big changes come from small chain reactions.
I've heard the argument that Cooperate America is to blame. Why should I, as a single person, be expected to change and pay for change or more environmentally friendly options? Why should my habits change when it's Cooperate America who sets the norm and accounts for most of the pollution that causes climate change? The answer is simple. Cooperate America is not a real, live human. It's made and run by PEOPLE. You're a person, right? You live here? So if that’s the case (which it is) you need to be held accountable for your actions and the impact they have on our world. We all need to be held accountable. Everyone counts in this situation.
These aren't big, sweeping changes you have to make. One of the biggest reasons for not making changes that positively impact the environment is convenience. Convenience is more of a habit and habits can change. Once a new habit is formed, it’s easy to maintain. Bulk grocery shopping, bringing your own reusable bags to the store. Taking one day a week to use public transportation (which I know, COVID) or biking to work. Eating less meat, maybe start with one day of vegan meals per week (because dairy is also a big pollutant). Monitor what you buy in plastic containers and really think about what can be reused. Make a goal of setting trash limits. If you take out the garbage everyday or every other day, aim for once a week. Then try to push that to 2 weeks and so on. It’s really not hard and these are just a few small steps and changes that can have a DRASTIC impact on our world.
As for industry changes on set, stop with the plastic water bottles and coffee runs. Have everyone bring there own reusable water bottles. Everyone—even the client. Stop kissing their asses and hold them responsible for their civic duty to take care of our planet. As for coffee runs, buy beans from a local roaster and get a few French presses on set. Encourage people to bring their own mugs or do paper mugs but lose the plastic lids (and straws). It’s not the 1950s anymore. We are all adults who need to pamper our planet more and ourselves less.
If a client is unwilling to go without their plastic bottles, spoons, forks and the unholy amount of waste that happens on set, charge an emissions offsetting fee and donate that money to help fight climate change.
Again these are all really small things (and I could go on and on and on and on with more ways to change) that don’t take much energy and they don’t hurt you. If you’re upset about government regulations telling us how to take care of our planet, then you need to do more so we don’t need those regulations. I’m for them, because we need to be babysat through this situation until we can educate ourselves and all get on board with doing our part.
No matter who you blame, we as humans live here, and EVERY HUMAN needs to do their part.
I’ve restrained from taking pictures of the smoke and posting on social media for a few different reasons. One, the light does look “cool” aesthetically and I fear the negative impacts of that. That warm, L.A. light that so many people love is air pollution. And it gets more drastic and more contrasty when it’s caused by pollution from forest fires. I don’t want any aspect of this to come off as “cool”. Second reason is simple. I don’t want to spread more doom and gloom hopelessness. I want to spread ideas of actual change that are simple, yet highly impactful. These simple actions are ways you can help out with the fires up here in the PNW and California (and the midwest and all of the world).
Please, I implore you to start making changes.
PS: I’m not perfect and never will be. I do my best to make the least environmentally impactful choices everyday. I can do more and will. I need your help though.