“I’m trying and you’re not. So until you do it, I’m the boss! The power is with the person who is trying, regardless of the success. If you’re trying, you have the power, you’re driving the agenda …. So people are like ‘oh it’s vague’ ‘oh it doesn’t address this little minute thing’ and I’m like- well you try! You do it. Because you’re not.”- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [ref. AOC]
*The New Green deal is AOC’s blueprint for fighting climate change and creating a carbon neutral economy in as little as 10 years.
Personally I’m behind most of what AOC says, she’s a visionary, and one I feel that the US really needs right now, especially given that their own president is trying to refute the mere existence of climate change, ugh *facepalm*.
It’s made me think about what I might do if I were running for government, or what I’d change if I were in charge (and man do I wish I was in charge some days, being some kind of social justice superhero on a large scale really appeals to me). Queen of everything for a day. So this is what some of my idealistic* campaign promises would look like:
*aint nothin’ wrong with being idealistic, we all need positive dreamers.
- The immediate ban on single use plastics with a buy back plastic recycling scheme in place for companies who would have waste. eg. Say a large burger conglomerate have signed a contract for the next 5 years with the plastic straw company- a plastic recycling company could buy the leftover straws to turn into other items such as furniture. This would be for a lower price than the original cost of the straws but that would be fair loss incurred for those companies for creating the plastic waste problem in the first place.
- A graded plastic packaging tax for companies. All companies. The grading of which would be based on the full annual earnings of that company (determined by an external auditor so no dodgy accounting allowed).
- ‘Bertha’ * style compost bins for large corporate offices. *Bertha is the HUGE industrial compost machine which was used at Silo Restaurant in Brighton, it turns scraps, paper and cardboard into compost in a day rather than a month. This compost can then be used to grow more crops, essentially it would link the waste from the city back to the countryside so that one was feeding the other in a circular economy.
- Government start-up initiatives for small-holder farms. The extra ‘plastic tax’ taken from larger companies for packaging could go directly into reversing the negative effects of industrial agriculture.
- Create a ban on trawler fishing which dredges the ocean floor taking entire eco-systems with it.
- Enforced short term bans on fishing during spawning season for certain breeds (especially bluefin tuna which are more endangered than pandas) so that fish stocks could rejuvenate.
- Bulk sections in large scale supermarkets ALL. OVER. THE. WORLD. For some people its very hard to access any kind of bulk store, the system is broken and we need to fix it so that waste free shopping isn’t only for the privileged (for the many not the few!).
I’m sure I could go on writing my manifesto for days, but seeing as I might just run for politics one day I should probably keep some things a surprise.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent speech about her ‘Green New Deal’* also made me reflect on all the comments and hate I get on social media, and on some of my zero-waste pals who have left social media entirely because of the hate. It breaks my heart! These are people who are trying, hard! These are people who make daily decisions based not on what is best for them but what they believe is best for the planet and other people have the audacity to proclaim that it’s not enough?! I want to tell you that if you are trying, then it IS enough, and well done for trying because you’re doing a hell of a lot more than some others! Don’t let people judge you or tell you it’s not enough, or tear you down when you waiver- you’re doing amazing, sweeties!
And to the people who write nasty comments, the keyboard warriors: stop and think next time… The people at the receiving end of those comments are human just like you, and they may not be perfect but they sure as hell don’t deserve your judgement for doing their best! Be thankful that there are people in the world that make decisions not based entirely on their own needs. The world needs more of them and they need more encouragement.