The night sky illuminated by millions of stars

Do our personal actions even matter?

Ever go camping as a kid and look at the night sky? Thousands of stars, unhindered by city pollution, shining down on you. 

Each dot bigger than our Sun. Each dot millions, if not billions, of miles away. Endless space.

It's an awe-inspiring experience. Yet, you can't but help feel so tiny, so insignificant when you compare yourself to the vast expanse of space and time.

This feeling of insignificance is mirrored by so many people when it comes to issues closer to Earth too.

One of the questions I most commonly get asked is "Do my actions even make a difference in the face giant corporations and governments?"

It's a question I have asked myself many times too. With good reason. 

If we look at the data, just 100 companies account for 71% of global greenhouse emissions. And as individuals we represent just 0.00000000125 of the population. 

And whilst we can refuse a plastic straw at a bar and prevent one piece of plastic waste, a government banning plastic straws will stop billions of pieces.

In the face of these numbers, the everyday choices we make as consumers seem irrelevant. Futile even. 

And yes, we should advocate for top-down change. But here's why you should not despair. Here's why our individual actions do matter:

We can't vote every day. But we do eat every day. We wash our hands every day. We make purchases.

Making better choices in day-to-day activities builds up over time and helps keep us focused on what kind of world we are striving for.

Plus, individual behaviour change influences and leads to cultural norm changes, which in turn leads to governmental change.

We are easily influenced by other people's actions, even if we hate to admit it. Especially by people admire. 

It's why John Cena was in a Crocs ad in 2017. It's why Ant & Dec are in a Santander mortgage ad. And it's why Snopp Dogg is associated with pretty much everything from Monster energy drinks to Just Eat.

So, in short, your actions are important; they do matter.

And if I were to end on a cheesy note, I would say be a shining star, providing light unto others with your actions. But I hate cheesiness - so I'll just say: do what feels right.

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