Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
Every evening I read my daughter to her sleep. One of the books that we read is Dr Seuss’ amazing environmental manifesto, the Lorax. Little Miss Four will often fall asleep before the story is finished. I will usually read on to finish it.
Today I was assembling some raised garden beds from upcycled palettes. And as usual, my mind was wandering and I narrowly missed my thumb more than once. I started to think about that quote from the Lorax,
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
The word that really jumped out at me was “Unless”.
And I started to think about the ABC series, the War on Waste, and some of the hideous waste and pollution that happens everywhere. Other things, like the damage to the soil we grow food in from constant chemical fertilizers, have only just become obvious to me.
You could easily lapse into terrible melancholy if you think too much about it. That’s part of the problem. People avoid thinking about it because it’s so depressing and you don’t feel like you can do something about it.
Apathy and powerlessness to reverse the damage that we’re doing can be the way we feel.
I’m guilty of feeling that way for a long time, just like you do. However, small changes that you can make, like reducing the amount of rubbish that you send to landfill, by recycling and composting can make a difference in surprising ways. In the War On Waste, a suburban street was challenged to reduce their waste. One of my favourite outcomes of that experiment was the creation of community by giving the residents of the street a common cause. At the end of the experiment, they held a street party to celebrate their achievements as a community.
The other outcome of the experiment would be the inevitable spread of the idea from the street to people connected to the families in the street. Not everyone would start those conversations. The conversation would also fall on some deaf ears.
I like the idea of the conversation spreading organically from street to street and family to family. That’s how the changes are made. I guess it becomes like a virus that spreads.
That’s why I love the idea of telling everyone I know about the amazing changes that you can make to the soil by using worms and their castings. It’s only a small change. My hope is that, like the War On Waste experiment, I can start a plague of information that initiates a million small changes to the world we live in.
It helps drive back the melancholy knowing that there are things that can undo the damage done and the damage being done. All it takes is one person to care a whole awful lot.
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The Gentleman Vermiculturist can be found on Facebook and Instagram as well as other social media. He talks incessantly about worms.