EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH
GROWING UP IN THE ’80S, we didn’t know much about the environment, other than that we were all supposed to “Do The Right Thing” to “Keep Australia Beautiful”, just like the sticker on the back of our dad’s Commodore told us. That, and also that all the hairspray we were using to make our fringes stand on end had made a gigantic hole in the ozone layer that was likely to make us all die from skin cancer. That was bad. But as far as we were concerned, it was pretty much the extent of it. Don’t litter, stop using aerosols, save the world.
We’re just a bit more environmentally woke now. And even though our concern has been growing steadily since way back then, it seems like recently (as in, just over the past few months for many of us) it’s all started to hit home with a realness and an urgency that somehow was never there before. Suddenly, taking a cute string bag to the corner shop and recycling our pizza boxes doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Maybe it’s the dramatic changes in weather that we can no longer ignore. Maybe it’s Trump’s dogged insistence on turning back every bit of progress that had been made that has spurred the rest of us into action. Perhaps it’s knowing that if we don’t hotfoot it to Africa within the next few years, we’ll have forever lost our chance to see an actual rhino in the wild. Whatever the motivation, our collective consciousness has started prodding us, constantly, in ways we can no longer ignore. From the insidious sea of plastics in supermarkets that we’d somehow never noticed before (every single piece of which has ever been produced is still floating around somewhere on this Earth) to every fashion misstep we’ve ever made hanging accusingly unworn in our wardrobes (a waste of 2,700 litres of water for every sad, unwanted T-shirt), the evidence of our unwitting complicity in the destruction of the planet is everywhere. And finally, rather than turning a blind eye, we’re being moved to act.
Of course, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the hopelessness of it all. It’s just not as easy as switching to mousse to reverse the situation anymore. Or is it? The 1987 Montreal Protocol banning CFCS didn’t only just improve our hairdos but actually did eventually shrink the hole in the ozone layer (at least until some rogue mysterious East Asian country recently started pumping them out again). It’s proof that we’re not completely powerless; it is possible to make a difference. And even if it’s not, if it’s all too late and we’re just hurtling towards eventual extinction, can we really sit by, knowing what we know, and just do nothing?
This issue is filled with ways we can, as individuals, as families, as women, start to live a little more consciously in the world. It might not be as simple as don’t litter, stop using aerosols, save the world, but it’s worth a try.
ENJOY THE ISSUE,