I started this challenge by thinking it was a good idea, immediately dismissing it, thinking about it again, and changing my mind. I wrote out my first instagram post, deleted it, re wrote it, and forced myself to post it before I changed my mind.
I could go on describing this pattern for pretty much every day. Since Day one I have worried about sharing wrong information, about getting criticised for the issues I’m talking about, and whether this is really my space to occupy at all.
Initially I thought this would be a fun activity to take up time and do something positive, but it’s been so much more than that. Its forced my to jump in to the grey area outside my comfort zone and shout about my opinions, values and beliefs. Here are a few things that I’ve learned along the way:
1) Doing takes no time at all, doing right does
All you have to do is like an instagram post, click the link, sign a petition, or buy a sustainable alternative to an everyday item. All of these are easy, and take no time at all.
The idea from this challenge was to find the easy links and quick shares, to show that making a difference can be done every day, that it doesn’t cost anything, and that you have plenty of time to do something. Everyday day I’ve shared links, and tips and pages to make it even easier, and joining in should have only taken minutes of your time.
The research behind it hasn’t quite been as easy. I don’t want to direct people to charities that have been accused of misdirecting profits, to closed petitions, or to share misinformation. Some days were simple, sharing the Hunger site and clicking their home page takes a matter of minutes. Other days, researching banks, looking at who to donate to help the amazon, and researching detentions centres for example all took a lot longer.
2) Go together to Go further
The main thing that has kept the challenge going this far is people replying to my stories, and telling me that they have joined in, they have signed a petition or that they have been inspired to make a change.
Getting positive feedback has crushed the initial doubts I was having and I couldn’t be more grateful to people who have supported the challenge. I have also loved people’s suggestions of steps to take, they have forced me to commit to actions I have been avoiding and have helped to keep 30 days of doing as varied as possible.
3) Small acts do make change
I sign a lot of petitions, when I’m on my third or fourth of the day I sometimes stop and think, is this still making a difference. Yes. Yes it is.
You only have to read the news on amnesty to see the impacts their campaigning has. Look at the responses of supermarkets as they realise customers are wanting less plastic. See the research going into consumer opinions. Companies are making change and now is time to tell them that change is what we want.
4) 30 is an awful lot of things
It really is. I’m trying to be creative and keep it unrepetitive, but sometimes it’s hard. I’d like to class every petition I sign as a new day, but sadly I just don’t think that cuts it.If you have any suggestions Please, Please let me know! I’ll be posting a full list of all actions with links – for you to join in – at the end of the month.
5) We could all be doing more
Imagine if… instead of scrolling on social media whilst you waited for your bus/train/meeting/whatever you used that time, every day, to make a difference.
Imagine if everyone did that. Following grassroots organisations, charities, and NGO’s on instagram takes no time at all, and then all the actions are conveniently there in your feed. Following accounts that share tips to reduce plastic, or promote the environment, takes no time at all. Social media has such a strong power for change you don’t even need to click the link or sign the petition (although you probably should), just by liking posts and sharing accounts you are raising your voice and raising the voices of others. You don’t have to value what I value, but please value something, and just spend a few minutes supporting the cause. We could all be doing more.