I recently came across an article by Alistair McGowan (who writes engagingly: Earth Hour: An Opportunity for All of Us to Demonstrate That We Care About Our Planet) encouraging people to participate in Earth Hour – to give up electricity for just one hour in the entire year. Fair enough. However, what surprised me was a number of fairly vicious responses in the comments section; some that accuse McGowan of treating the subject of the environment too lightly, whilst others felt that he championed what boils down to an inconvenience to their enjoyment of life.
Some people had clearly shown interest in the article but found it to be a personal insult to their way of life, such as the gentlemen who commented: “I cannot stand articles that try to make you feel guilty for things you have no control over.” He explained how the absence of high-functioning electric cars meant he HAD to drive a petrol car to work. The replacement of independent food shops by charity and betting shops meant he HAD to shop at a supermarket. This made me think about how much control we do have. I disagree that he has no choice; most people, certainly in the UK, are fortunate enough to have choices with these every day decisions.
On the other hand, some changes such as ditching your car can make a massive impact on your life. We have a 25 minute drive to work on pretty hectic main roads, which would make a daunting cycle ride, and don’t have two bikes even if we did want to dice with the traffic gods. A bus would take somewhere in the region of an hour and a half each way and cost about £10. So we continue to drive, despite being reasonably well-informed and a bit ‘green’.
So is there any point even bothering to be green if you, say, use a car?
Yes. If every person...
There are tonnes more ideas like these, small actions that, when done by lots of people, can make a difference – and the more we all do, the more difference we can be make!
 Aldred, J., 2008. Tread Lightly: Keep Your Kettle in Check. The Guardian, 7 Mar. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ethicallivingblog/2008/mar/07/keepyourkettleincheck (Accessed 24 March 2015).
 Elmore, D., 2014. Myth Busted: Idling Wastes Fuel. Green Action Centre, 6 Jan. Available at: http://greenactioncentre.ca/living-green-living-well/myth-2-its-better-to-idle-your-car-than-shut-it-off/#comment-132302 (Accessed 24 March 2015).
 Schwartz, J. D., 2009. Buying Local: How it Boosts the Economy. Time, 11 Jun. Available at: http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1903632,00.html (Accessed 24 March 2015).
 Barnard, S., 2014. Could You Give Up Meat For Just One Day a Week? Independent, 8 Sep. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/could-you-give-up-meat-for-just-one-day-a-week-9717758.html (Accessed 24 March 2015).
 Love Food, Hate Waste. UK Food Waste Facts. LFHW. Available at: http://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/2472 (Accessed 26 March 2015).