My Three Point Plan: Think, Act, That's It!

As we rapidly approach the end of the year, so can begin some reflection of 2005. With this in mind, I wish to mull over, a topic that has really grabbed my imagination this year - that of taking personal responsibility for the planet we live on and the economic and political environments that govern us.

In a year that has seen countless natural and tragic disasters (the Asian tsunami, 7/7, earthquakes and hurricanes) and an unusual political calendar (G8, the UK presidency of the EU and a General Election) and the campaigns that surrounded them such as Live8 and Make Poverty History, I guess it was hard not to begin thinking about the many issues that effect us today. I’m thinking poverty, the environment, commercialisation and (global) politics…

However rather than just think about these issues, I wanted to act on them, and also talk about them amongst friends, and finally on this very blog.

Personal Responsibility

Over the course of the year, I have slowly but surely tried to change certain aspects of my lifestyle and think about my actions. No grand gestures, just little tiny steps that hopefully will all add up. Some of these changes included:


  • recycling paper that I throw away at home
  • using and re-using tin foil to wrap the sandwiches I take to work
  • making sure I turn my computer at work off every night
  • trying to use less water (turning taps off)

Thinking about others

  • raise money for Cancer Research again at this years Great North Run
  • responding to disaster appeals - all of them
  • additions to my monthly charitable donations

Politics and Economics

  • Thanks to my brother, starting to think more about what I am buying - or more correctly what I am being sold.
  • Watching programs such as ‘Super Size Me’, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, ‘30 Days’ and other thought provoking documentaries on television

It still doesn’t feel like enough, it isn’t - but it is a start. Having started to make these changes to my lifestyle, I think it is time to do the same around the home and at work and getting others involved.

Whilst a small chat about the subject with Melvin at work the other day sounded promising (I’m hoping paper recycling and energy saving are two projects I can push forward in 2006 - perhaps even looking at how Orange Vision can become carbon neutral), at home it seems to be more difficult. Whilst my dad will do anything to put obstacles in the way of change, my Mum seems not able to get over the logistics such as the placement of the different bins and composting of food waste.

An Alternative Christmas

In light of this I have come up with an idea for how I wish to celebrate this Christmas - a way of getting the ball rolling for next year. Seeing as this once religious holiday has been hijacked and commercialised for the good of profit margins, I see no reason why I can’t also hijack it for the good of the planet.

My big aim is to use this as a chance to educate and inform people of how we can all help make the world a better place whilst also raising awareness of what is happening around us.

Top of the list is recycled Christmas cards. I am again planning on designing my own cards, so this will probably mean me using materials that would otherwise be unused - the results may be interesting. As to gifts, I have a few ideas:

  • A donation to a charity of the recipients choice or perhaps a gift brought from a charity catalogue.
  • Books or videos covering issues ranging from recycling, ethics, poverty, political systems - anything that may help people start to think about the world around them. These need not be dull either - ‘The Corporation’ on DVD, and ‘America (The Book)’, are two examples that are along the lines I’m thinking off.
  • For smaller gifts I could give some more practical items such as energy saving light-bulbs or those blue bags you put in toilets to reduce water consumption.

Think of it like this: instead of buying things for people they don’t need, it will be more a case of buying things they should already have!

I’m still open to suggestions though, if you have any other ideas you feel relate to the same cause then please comment below. Perhaps you wish to do the same this Christmas - in which case feel free to join in!

The same goes for all the points I’ve raised here, as I think talking about these issues is just as important as taking the necessary steps required to start living responsibly and respecting our planet and all those that inhabit it too.

[In case you were wondering, the title of this post comes courtesy of a fantastic Alan Partridge sketch I once saw. You need the third point to remind you of the other two!]


5 responses so far. Go on, add yours!

 Gravatar#1 On November 7, 2005 9:19 AM, Si said...

Well all I can say is "good for you!" While I wouldn't be as drastic as you with your Christmas idea, I have also realised that our planet is falling apart around us - you just need to look at all those hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and tidal waves from the past year that have affected millions. It's only a matter of time before the UK is hit and then we definitely will be looking for help from outside just as those other countries were.

I will definitely be looking at ways of treating the planet better when it comes to saving and reusing resources. We had recycling bins installed in our communal bin shelter earlier in the year but I've been rubbish (pardon the pun) at remembering to use these properly. With Chrimbo coming up and, no dount, vast amounts of alcohol and paper, I will definitely be filing my waste in a more effective way.

(Maybe you could make the most of our Multipack meeting on Saturday to sell your idea if conversation dries up at all?)

 Gravatar#2 On November 7, 2005 4:18 PM, Jon Roobottom said...

Paul Paul Paul... I'm 100% behind you on this one! You've been banging on about this for a few weeks now, but it's obvious you've given it a lot of thought.

As for multipack, perhaps we should get behind a charity, and collect a little something (no pressure, just whatever spare change anyone has) at the meetings, and give it to charity. I know Paul may have a good idea of one in particular at the moment we'd like to give to.

As for me, as I can't make it on Saturday, i'll set the ball rolling by pledging a tenner of my own cash towards whatever you dudes see fit. Paul, it's up to you to badger me for this.

I'm looking forward to receiving my energy saving light bulb this Christmas.

 Gravatar#3 On November 7, 2005 4:20 PM, Jon Roobottom said...

oh, and another thing... Some new photos would be nice.

 Gravatar#4 On November 8, 2005 9:43 AM, Kris said...

Paul, My lights take the screw in type bulbs rather than the twisty clip thingy's

 Gravatar#5 On November 10, 2005 10:41 AM, Simone said...

I think Kris means screw-cap rather than bayonet ;) Nice to get to read your thoughts and visions Paul - I always enjoy reading what you put as you, unlike others who shall remain nameless, talk a great deal of sense!

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This entry was written on 6 Nov 2005, 10:10 PM and is filled under .