by Emma Gallagher
It’s not looking great out there right now, but don’t give up! Here’s five things to help us all remain hopeful about the future of the climate fight.
Floods covering large proportions of countries, wildfires claiming acres of natural habitats, oil companies making record breaking profits amid a cost of living crisis and Dublin’s streets seeing more hotels than Doc Martens. It’s easy to feel like any progress towards a clean, sustainable future is hopeless. But that’s why this article and myself are here; to show you that maybe not everything is totally doomed, maybe there are some indicators that we are living in a society that wants to do better.
So, I present to you five reasons to not totally give up on the climate fight. We’re going to start off small and then look a bit more ‘big picture’. But that doesn’t mean the first ones on this list are any less important- the little things are easy, and they’re good because they’re easy. Simple introductions to sustainability are what teach people that it is possible to do good for the environment. For those more established in their sustainability journey, these things might seem silly; but I think that it’s good to see the little progressions, and they serve as a reminder that the sustainability community is growing, and with growth comes progress. So, without any further waffling on my behalf, here’s 5 reasons to maintain hope in the climate fight.
- Starbucks’ free milk alternatives
Okay I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at this one, but stick with me! From January of this year, Starbucks started providing free non-dairy milks in any coffee! For those of you who are sick of paying an extra 50cents for your iced latte with oat milk this will come as welcome news (we all know a carton of Alpro Barista Oat only costs 2 euro, it makes no sense for it to take up so much of the weekly coffee budget). As such a global, consumer-based company, this change shows the beginning of a definite shift in the market, as brands finally start to respond to consumer demand for vegan, climate friendly options. Hopefully this trend will start to catch on in all coffee shops, and we can all stop breaking the bank for the much-loved winter chai latte.
“Having the opportunity to make a vegan choice once or twice a week is a brilliant way to lower your carbon footprint, and be climate conscious in your daily life.”
- Ireland one of the most vegan friendly places in the world
More diet based eco friendliness! In 2019, Dublin was branded the most vegan friendly city in the world by holiday company, Hayes & Jarvis, and since then we have maintained a good vegan reputation. If you’re looking for a good way for you and your friends to be a little bit more friendly to the environment on your lunch break, head to V-Face for a burger, or a post night out vegan cheesy chip from McGuinesses. Having the opportunity to make a vegan choice once or twice a week is a brilliant way to lower your carbon footprint, and be climate conscious in your daily life. Dublin is providing that opportunity for us all! If you’re looking to dedicate yourself a little bit more to the vegan lifestyle but don’t know where to start, Dublin is the perfect place for finding student-based inspiration – namely Trinity’s own Jemima Sutton and her student-budget vegan account @foodforjoyy on Instagram
- Slow Fashion is on the rise
Just in case you haven’t heard, fast fashion is like, totally out. No longer are you going to get any street cred in the arts block for your branded jackets, all the cool kids are buying their wardrobes from Depop or vintage stores. Shopping second hand may just be the hottest trend of the college, and it’s another easy way for everyone to get involved in the climate fight without even realising it. Over consumption and fast fashion are leading contributors to environmental damage, and even though the entire planet might not be saved by the Depop girlies, they’re making a wonderful contribution by making sustainable fashion cool again!
“Although these companies already face tight guidelines on advertising in other countries, the French ban is yet another positive shift in the market towards a more sustainable future”
- France has banned fossil fuel advertising
Going a bit bigger picture now; this month France has become the first European country to ban fossil fuel advertisements. Although these companies already face tight guidelines on advertising in other countries, the French ban is yet another positive shift in the market towards a more sustainable future. Whether you’re a final year BESS student or you just about scraped through with Leaving Cert business, we all know the power advertising has. A ban on advertising will hopefully help lessen the demand for fossil fuels. This is a really hopeful indicator of a future system that doesn’t give preference to these larger oil companies and wants to promote more sustainable, eco-friendly choices.
- Ireland committed to cutting emissions by 51% by 2030
Returning to the Irish climate fight, because it’s good to see positive change happening so close to us. In July of this year, the Irish Government committed to a 51% reduction in emissions right across the economy. Although this proposal has received some backlash, as a whole it shows hope for positive progression towards a country which is more eco-friendly, and is doing its part in the global climate fight.
So, there you have it, five reasons to give you hope that this fight isn’t over. Go out, shop second hand, get oat milk in your flat white from Kaph, and don’t give up just yet. The small things feel very small in the face of all the big bad news at the moment, but they’re the things that will keep us fighting strong.