Shop Well for the Planet? Yeah, alright.

Exciting to see what an influence we are having after just a few weeks of blogging! đŸ˜‰

The BBC have just started a new series called ‘Shop Well for the Planet?‘. This is a well seasoned format (I think I maybe even remember watching an episode of something similar before…), but this series has a focus on how to be more ‘eco’.

We’ve only watched the first episode, and I have to say that at first I shouted at the TV (quite a lot). Honestly, I found it frustrating and quite shocking to see what a chasm there is between our approach to life and the family that was featured. Don’t hear me wrong – I’m eager not to be judgemental, and want to recognise that everyone is at a different stage on this journey, but when learning to walk more gently on the earth has been such a big part of our lives for so long it is hard to see others who seem to be wilfully naive… And breathe.

On reflection I realised that even just hearing of others becoming aware wanting to make a difference to their impact on the world was really encouraging; they really seemed to want to make a change, even if it was mostly still around what they enjoyed (rather than any idea of personal sacrifice for the common good). I grumbled, I shouted, I smiled and I laughed with them. By the end of the show I had really grown to like this family, and had rightly repented of my earlier grumpiness.

This programme isn’t for idealists, and I was left disappointed at times by the shoulder shrug moments and absence of real connection to the climate and ecological crisis. There was lots of generic talk about ‘eco’ and ‘carbon footprint’, but no actual information on what any of this means or why it is important for those of us in WEIRD countries (Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) to urgently start making significant lifestyle changes. However, for lots of little changes and seeing honest reactions to trying out new things this was well worth the time.

REMEMBER KIDS: the whole idea of carbon footprint was invented by a PR company working for the fossil fuel industry. Use it as a helpful way of thinking about your own impact as an individual or family, but don’t lose sight of the fact that the climate and ecological crisis is a systemic problem and that fossil fuel companies have done everything they can to keep the world dragging its heels on doing what needs to be done. Whether you recycle or not makes almost no difference in the big picture (as our Prime Minister said in a surprising moment of honesty and insight), and your individual carbon footprint is similarly irrelevant. Don’t let this demotivate you from doing the right thing, let it move you to act.

Published by oikoslife

I am married, father of 2 young children (2014 and 2017), pioneering priest in the Church of England, surfer, climate activist and much more. Born in Yorkshire, and currently living on the Yorkshire Coast. Doing my best to live in good connection with God, self, neighbour and creation - working it out as I go.

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