“No one is too small to make a difference.” Greta Thunberg
When 5000 children, school teachers and parents marched in our little city last Friday, striking for policy change to combat climate change, we marched too. Only, we didn’t march with the other protestors in our city (sorry Greta Thunberg, we think you are amazing, and your work is so important). We don’t need to strike from school because we’re already a school-free family, but we do think that political activism against climate change is needed, so we talked about joining the protest at our Parliament House. In the end, we decided to follow a different action on climate change. One a little bit closer to home.
Our climate strike looked like this:
We marched into our city’s botanical gardens, straight to our Diggers Club. If you’re not familiar with The Digggers Club; it’s a garden company started by Clive and Penny Blazey in Australia, who rescue heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits, and help people to grow their own food. There, at our Diggers store, we bought a warrior load of seeds, and one beautiful food plant to root into the soil of our planet—the bit we own; our suburban backyard.
You see, as important as we think it is to demand policy change, we think it’s doubly important to demand change from ourselves. We are already a school-free family. We’ve already said no to the norms of thought our current model for living is based on. We believe that economic reform is needed and that the first step in reformation is not buying into our current model of consumerism. We eat sustainably grown, organic crops, and say no to putting our money where harm to the earth is done.
So, it’s not that speaking up for policy change isn’t important. It is. Very. On this day, though, my children and I voted to take action to change our own practices.
Now that we’ve gone organic, and begun to buy direct from growers who use sustainable practices, we’re ready to go one step further, and grow our own. The environmental impacts of large scale agriculture are huge. We won’t support those impacts, and neither will our wallet. Where we can grow our own food in an organic, sustainable way; instead of supporting the huge carbon footprint of deforestation, soil degradation, pollutants, emissions from farming, transport and storage of food for mass consumption, we will.
Our agenda is the green earth.
While we walked beneath the trees of our city’s beautiful gardens on the warm Friday morning, we noticed how much cooler, more comfortable and more magical life is upon a green earth. We’re so used to tin, tiles and pavements that we forget the impact the simple act of planting up our home plot can have—however small that plot might be.
- We can cool our house down.
- We can have organic, fresh food for very little cost.
- We can lighten our footprint on the earth.
- We can give plants back to the earth.
- By planting veggies and beneficial insect attracting plants to go with them, we can help save the bees.
- Did I mention saving the bees?
If you’ve read my early posts you’ll know that our family have an off-grid plot. We’re not there yet. We’re still in our suburban brickie, ten minutes from the city centre.
We’ve voted not to wait until we’re off-grid to be hippies. We want to start now, where we are. What other true time or place is there?
The earth needs us now.
Taking matters into our own hands, where we live, is our way of saying down with the patriarchy. It’s our way of rallying for sustainable practices. By living them. Even if we didn’t do things in quite the way the amazing Greta Thunberg envisioned. She’s still made a difference to us. She’s still spurred us into taking immediate action. Let’s hope the policy makers listen, too.
Our climate strike didn’t end on Friday.
On Sunday, we headed back to the gardens and the Diggers shop for an avocado tree, and swathe of organic herb seeds, including some bee attracting varieties (of course! Did I mention Pooh Bear’s… “sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”?)
We hope to be the coolest, greenest home on the street. We hope to be dripping with veggies and fruit, fresh from nature. We hope to start a trend. We hope our food garden buzzes and grows bigger than us. By taking matters into our own hands, we hope to inspire change in the streets where we live.
Our 600 metre-square suburban plot isn’t much, but it’s one for nature. And one more for health, and sustainability.
So, while the cool of autumn is sneaking in the back-door, we’re sneaking outside in the early mornings tilling the soil, tending and planting.
It’s all seeds, dirt, rainwater tank-hunting and poo around here at the moment. These are the seeds we’re planting for change. We hope they’ll catch on, and grow big.
Yours in the free world.
Photos in this post credited to Shellsforfree.