Can One Person Really Make A Difference?


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You may ask yourself (or hear other people ask) if there really is anything that one single person can do to actually have an effect on the environment around them. While I understand that sometimes the bad news just keeps coming and it feels like nothing that anyone does can make anything better, it’s just not true. Sure, the government isn’t going to help much, the giant corporations say they will but you know they won’t, and being “green” can get expensive if you do it wrong. Sometimes when I am feeling down about the world around us, I mosey on over to a website called Dancing Rabbit. They are a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to living as simple as a life that they can while having a minimal impact on the environment around them. If you don’t know about them, you should definitely check out their site as soon as you can.

Photo from Shutterstock

One day when I was reading their site I came across an article where they were discussing a poll they had taken in the community about what individuals can do to help the environment. And it seems the news is good for those of you out there that think that just one person cannot make a difference. Some of their ideas?

-Try living without a car. If you live within a metropolitan area with a good mass transit system use it as your main means of transportation then rent a car or join a car co-op or car share to fill in where MT doesn’t work.

-Keep your vehicle properly tuned and use long running synthetic oils and a cleanable oil filter.

-Use battery powered (with rechargeable batteries) clocks timers etc instead of the plug in type.

– Cooperatively use appliances with neighbors (lawnmower, washing machine, etc) (psssst- I love this one and hopefully my future neighbors will too!)

-Get as much of your food as you can from local, in-season sources

-Use recycled lumber for building, remodeling, or home-improvement projects

-If you have a yard plant edible landscaping (turn that lawn into a vegetable garden) (pssst- why exactly do we need acres of grass? That’s valuable planting space!)

-Install low flow faucets and shower heads.

-Turn off your computer when you aren’t using it and/or get a laptop

Now, that should be enough to get you started. The problem with the “one person” feeling bad about not making an impact is that they are not thinking big enough. What if one person turned into 2 into 1,000 into 1,000,000…we need everyone to do their little part. The sum is much greater than the parts in this case. Even the evil big box store with the smiley faced logo wants to sell CFL’s to all their customers. I know the money they make will of course be good for their shareholders, but imagine the impact that can have. (it’s a lot, google it).

So what are you waiting for…get going!

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  1. Many people would go around telling you to contribute to something or for something. Many people often focus on the election. So can one person make a difference through voting? Many would say, “What can I do?”

    One person won’t make that much of a difference. It’s like to pick litter from the ground and put it in the garbage can. So I pick up some waste and what can I do about it. The world is so filled with garbage, if I pick up this little bit, it probably won’t do anything or help anyone. So let me tell you a story: So one day there was this man walking along the deserted part of the beach. Then he came to a stop to what amazed him. The beach was scattered with starfishes as far as the eye can see. He just stares out in disbelief. These starfishes were drying out. There was no water and slowly dying. Then to his eyes he sees a figure. It was a small boy not older than nine years old. At first the man didn’t know what the kid was doing then he realized. The boy was picking the starfishes one by one and throwing them back in the water. The man calls out to him but the boy simply waves back and continues working. When the boy got closer, the man said, “What you are doing is really nice but you can’t possibly make a difference. It is just best to let them die out.” The boy kept on throwing the starfishes back in the water and said, “It might not make difference but if certainly made a difference for that one and this one too.”

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