I’m Rubbish At…Saving The World

The world’s on fire, literally sometimes. Carbon is filling the atmosphere. There are massive spiders in some places. God it’s awful isn’t it? But hey ho, there’s still hope right?... Right…..? Guess what I’m badgering on about. Yeah that’s exactly correct, climate change muchachos.

Here I stand… destitute, wearing nought but my jim jams, and a pair of old Stan Smiths I’ve forced onto my bare feet. I stand here, freezing. I stand here and behold the glorious purple hue of the recycling bin. I question silently Why’s our one purple? They’re meant to be green right? I know the task before me. I must fish through, and remove the soft plastic bit off the hard plastic bit atop the chicken kiev box from the chicken kievs I ate when I was pissed last night. 

“They must be separated, for only the hard bit shall be recycled” (Luke 2: 24-28). 

I’ve been mugged off by myself. Now in spite of my hangover, I’ve got to put my hand in all the mucky, dirty, foul pieces of detritus to retrieve, from beneath the upsetting number of bottles, the discarded evidence of how truly rubbish (pun only noticed when editing) I am at saving the planet. I’m an idiot. A fool. A pathetic waste of a blood bag. I had an asthma attack and almost died when I was a baby. Why did they bother saving me? I’m single handedly killing the planet. Greta Thunberg would quite literally punch me directly in my face. 

On the topic of GT (Greta Thunberg), I’m absolutely bowled over by Gen Z. What a bunch of total legends. Well mostly. Some of them did that tide pod challenge a few years ago. Also I read this whole story the other day about them getting tattoos that are supposedly a symbol created exclusively for Gen Z, but PSYCH, turns out it’s actually the symbol for the Wolfsangel, used quite a bit by Nazis. But other than that… total bunch of legends. They’ve looked at the mess we (mostly Boomers) made of the planet, and decided enough is enough. We (I [Millenials]) looked at the absolute wreckage of a dying planet and got drunk. Sorry lads we dropped the ball there. 

FYI: I’m writing this eating a chicken and sweetcorn sandwich (meal deal also including sun chips and a Pepsi Max cherry in case you were wondering). I know I shouldn’t.

I know I should go vegan. I KNOW! I’ve cooked for vegans, yeah it was delicious, but the sheer extra level of thought and time that it takes… like, come on. Also I’ve seen at least one vegan mate eating a naughty big mac when they thought no one was looking after a night out in a sweaty gay club.

Ben looks for good wood

When doing my (admittedly fairly limited) research for this article, one of the main things I’ve seen being said time and time again, is that you need to make sure you have good wood. Something I’ve spent 15 odd years searching for… amiright boys? What does that even mean? What constitutes good wood… how does one find a lovely good tree? Is it especially well behaved? Did it donate a kidney to charity? Did it save a child from a burning car? If it did, it would be a reckless tree as trees are, in fact, famously flammable. Oh good tree where do I find thee? I’m writing this from a desk made of chip board and laminate, which I imagine is the very opposite of good wood. This is bad wood. Wood that carries a switchblade, smokes cigarettes, and looks for fights down the local kebab shop on a Friday afternoon. 

I guess I just want to know what I’m supposed to do. My housemate bought a composting bin. I haven’t put anything in it, but it’s comforting to know that it’s there. I could get a bike… but I think cycling in London is potentially the most terrifying thing you can do, other than eating an out of date prawn sandwich you bought from a petrol station. Just trust me on that.

However, before you completely beat yourselves up, remember that 70% of carbon emissions come from just 100 big, bad companies (accurate as of 2017). Shell is gunning for net zero emissions… by 2050. That is unfathomably far away, they contributed about 70 million tonnes of Green House Gases in 2019 (give or take). And gas is pretty light right? It’s a gas. So… it’s really not heavy at all. That must be a whole lot of gas. AND that’s just Shell. Take away number Uno: we need to hold companies to account. You eating a burger, or driving a car, or buying bad wood isn’t the only problem. 

These companies want to divert attention away from their own massive failings. They want you to get mad at yourself because your kiev packet still has the soft top bit on it and you have to go face first into the recycling bin. It’s encouraging to see that these companies are trying to do better. They’re sponsoring drives that attempt to undo the mess they’ve done. There appears, finally, to be an understanding that there has to be change. That doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. Write to your MP, dismantle the patriarchy, smash things (these views are my own and not representative of what you should actually do. I just finished watching the Chicago Seven and I don’t want to go to jail), and hold these companies to account.

Yes the world’s on fire, god it’s all awful, but it’s not OUR fault. Plus gen z are sorting it out. So drink a pint of palm oil, set fire to a forest, punch a cow, and turn that heating up to full baby! No… seriously… don’t do that. 

At the end of the day, we’ve all got to pitch in. We must each do our bit on a personal level. Recycling is good. Lowering meat intake. Good. Good wood could, would and should be understood, for it is good. We, as an entire human race, are at the edge of

catastrophe. EDGE being the optimum word. We can still turn it around. We can still make a difference in our own way. We really can. Get your hand down that bin, and change the world.