Today, Vessel reopens for 2020. And I honestly feel like we’re in another world.
At the end of last year, with my 12 days of Christmas series, highlighting organisations doing great social and environmental work, I was trying to inspire hope, and positivity. And that is what Vessel has always been about to me. A part of the solution, a way to take action, and change the world one plastic bottle at a time.
But in the weeks we’ve been closed, Australia has suffered so greatly. The consequences of generations of inadequate leadership on climate change are now literally burning down our country.
The thought of reopening the shop, and posting insensitively about products you might like to buy made me feel sick. I also felt as though I shouldn’t comment on the fires, as I am not an expert, and what could I say that has not already been said more eloquently by others?
I have cried and cried at the news and media stories that just keep coming, and many more are yet to come. But despite my despair, I simply have to go on. I have donated to the fire services, signed petitions, written letters to my elected representatives, but at the same time, I’ve bought school shoes in preparation for a new school year, and played in the yard with my kids and their Christmas gifts.
So we will go on. But it’s time to get real. Donate to the crisis in whatever way you can (money, food, blankets, time, energy, petrol, spare rooms etc). Phone or write to your elected representatives at all levels, and let them know this is not acceptable, and you demand change. Show up at marches. Move your money (bank, super accounts and energy providers) to organisations who will not fund climate damaging practices. Spend your money wisely. Watch 2040, or get the fabulous 2040 book out from the library. It’s full of solutions. Pick one or two of the most effective, and act on them. Incorporate them into your lives, but also talk to others about them, fund them if you can.
My hope has wavered, and yours might have too. We need each other now more than ever. To support, to lean on, to act, and to keep each other accountable. 2020 – let’s do this.