29: The Story of Change… and Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better World | Green Team Academy

29: The Story of Change… and Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better World

If you’re feeling exhausted by making millions of decisions about shopping and recycling, then this episode will give you hope! In this episode, let’s discuss the video The Story of Change and the key to societal transformation.

Green Team Academy Podcast with Joan Gregerson
Episode 29

I’m a big fan of the free videos created by Annie Leonard and the nonprofit that grew out of her 2007 viral video, The Story of Stuff. If you want a short video to cover the basics of key environmental issues, chances are The Story of Stuff has one. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when I found their Story of Change video.

In under seven minutes, you can watch the entire Story of Change.So, yup, watch it and use it with your team.

Here are the key points from the Story of Change movie:
We are getting the message:
We can go green by being better shoppers and recyclers and telling our friends to do the same. If I do this, I’ve done my part. And if I don’t, it’s my fault that the planet is being destroyed.

This has some serious shortcomings!

It’s not about just voting with our dollars. Real change comes when citizens come together to demand rules that work.

We can learn from successful movements throughout history: Gandhi, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the environmental victories here in the 1970s. They didn’t nag people to perfect their day-to-day choices. They changed the rules of the game.

Here are the three things to do to change the world:

  1. Share a big idea for how things could be better.
  2. Millions of ordinary people need to decide, “We will work together until the problem is solved.”
  3. With big idea and commitment to work together, take action.

After I first watched this, I gave a huge sigh of relief. I realized I was exhausting myself focusing on a million shopping and recycling decisions.

Now, I know, my real power is working on these three things: sharing a big idea, getting together with millions of people, and demanding the change we want.

The best way to get millions together is to start with two, then ten, then 100’s, and 1000’s around the world.

In the movie Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, they kept using the symbol of an open hand to represent the fingers (individuals) as vulnerable, compared to the closed fist (group) as strong.

It’s not enough to try to “be the change”. We need to get together and “demand the change” we want to see in this world.

“Living our values in small ways shows ourselves and other we care. So, it’s a great place to start. But it’s a terrible place to stop. After all, would we even know who Gandhi was if he just sewed his own clothes and then sat back waiting for the British to leave India?” – Annie Leonard, Story of Change

Resource:
The Story of Stuff Video Collection
Green Team Academy Podcast Episode 23: 10 Lessons for Eco-Leaders from from Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom


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How do you feel about all this? Relieved? Energized? Stressed out?

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