Greening the Blues: My Journey as a Young Changemaker!
How a young climate champion is making a difference
“Nature has been my constant companion and greatest inspiration. These moments when - the wind whispers its secrets, the trees share their wisdom, the clouds hang in there, the water flows through gently, and the sky opens infinite possibilities - inspire me to the core, reminding me of the interconnectedness of all life, and fuels my passion for protecting and preserving the planet we call home.”
As the world marks International Youth Day 2023 on ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World’, I find myself standing and reflecting at the crossroads of a journey that has brought me to act on the pressing issue of our time - the climate crisis. From a child with an innate love for nature to an advocate for change, my story has at its heart - a deep connection with nature, intrinsic motivation to act, and conviction that together, we can make a difference. From questioning "Why should I take action?" to "Why not be the change?", this journey has been a series of inklings, nudges, and instincts that led me to gradually connect the dots, and begin working on an intersection of climate, education, gender, and psycho-emotional wellness.
Here are five green skills which led me to embark on the path of impactful action
- Sustainable Living: Embracing sustainable practices in my daily life continues to be a cornerstone of my journey. From increasing the use of public transport to transitioning to eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products and making conscious choices about the products (including food) I consume, each lifestyle shift has made me realize that small changes collectively make a significant impact.
- Community Action and Leadership: As a starting point, engaging in initiatives such as nature walks, clean-up drives, community interaction and tree-planting initiatives have allowed me to witness firsthand the detrimental impact of human activities on our surroundings. These experiences serve as constant reminders of the urgency to address the issue and inspire others to do the same in their own unique ways, with empathy and patience in their heart. Furthermore, they’ve opened ways for me to be a part of, as well as lead projects on an array of issues including forest conservation, sustainable menstrual hygiene, conscious consumption, etc.
- Climate Education and Awareness: Holistic education holds the potential for transformation. Through training workshops, awareness campaigns, group discussions, and leveraging social media, I strive to effectively raise awareness about climate change, its implications, and the solutions, and continue to learn to express through an intersectional, actionable, and inclusive lens.
- Creative Advocacy: Beyond the conventional forms of advocacy, creative mediums like poetry, music, art, and dance are powerful tools for bringing transformation. It enables the free expression of ideas, transcends multiple barriers, and leaves an impression on people's hearts and minds. I've channelled my creativity for the causes I passionately believe in and feel about by creating content including blogs, poetry, rap songs, dance, etc. at awareness events, social media platforms and campaigns at different levels, to iterate on the need for climate action and inspire behaviour change. Going forward, I aspire to further tap into the power of grassroots storytelling for staging diverse voices, initiating people-driven action projects and ensuring representation from unheard communities.
- Stakeholder Engagement and Collaboration: I strongly believe in the importance of engaging and joining hands with different stakeholders (including government, businesses, civil society bodies, indigenous communities, etc.). Through field visits, grassroots interactions, and written correspondence, I’ve been attempting to create a deeper understanding of different perspectives, while being able to make the voices heard, as well as create opportunities to work together for alternate strategies and better outcomes. Thus, I've realized that collaborating with like-minded individuals and groups is the key to fostering effective climate action and sustainability.
Bottom Line: With each choice, each action, and each collaboration, we inch closer to a greener, safer, and cleaner future - one where nature's beauty thrives and our connection with it gets strengthened.
I invite and look forward to more meaningful collaborations, as I gear up to continue this journey of environmental advocacy and action with all the more passion, perseverance and drive to make a difference!