Source: Greenpeace New Zealand
When something shakes us to the core of our society, it can be hard to know what to do. Or say.
For those of you worrying about friends and whānau, for those of you with loved ones overseas, for those of you frantically scrambling to rearrange, postpone, cancel and prepare, I’m with you.
I know that for those of us for whom compassion for people and the planet is a guiding light, the reality of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic can bring up so much anguish.
The coming days and weeks will be tough.
But as New Zealanders, we’re pretty resilient. We’re used to the ground under our feet being a bit shaky (literally).
When things get tough, we pull together. We can do this.
We’ve loved hearing stories of how people are already helping each other through surviving the Coronavirus. Here are some ideas to get you started, and please, leave us a comment and share initiatives you’ve seen that make this uncertain time a bit gentler on everyone.
And as an organisation with a long history of adapting to changing world events, our work as Greenpeace continues. It’s too important not to. We will find ways to continue having an impact and influencing governments and corporations as events unfold. And we will find ways for you to help to save the planet, from home.
Earlier this week, we responded quickly to the government’s plan to inject billions into the economy in response to Covid-19. We put forward some solid suggestions for how that money could be used to put us on the path to a zero-carbon economy, cut our carbon emissions and improve life for everyone in Aotearoa. We proposed ideas around boosting funding for insulation and heating, solar and batteries on homes, and electric transport; upgrading New Zealand’s public sector and infrastructure; cash injections for sustainable agriculture production, and protecting the country’s poorest.
We then asked our supporters to help with more suggestions, and the response blew us away. Thank you for all of the detailed, thoughtful and heart-warming responses. We have read them all and are now building them into briefings we will offer to government departments and Ministers.
Among the popular ideas were:
- Making it possible for households and communities to trade and gift solar power
- Supporting community groups that help people grow backyard veggie gardens
- A Universal Basic Income to help everyone pay for food and essentials
- Big programmes to plant permanent, biodiverse, native forests
These are just some of the highlights, and here you can see more and contribute more.
And our work continues on the things that matter. Our rivers still run dirty and our oceans continue to need vital protection. We will not lose sight of that.
We’re making sure our staff and their whānau are safe and cared for by having as many people as possible work from home for the foreseeable future. But the work goes on, even if there are a few more children and pets sighted in video meetings!
We’re privileged to have such a wide network of people committed to a better future. People like you, who aren’t afraid to show up. Whose courage and determination to believe in a kinder, greener world makes our work possible. And it’s going to take all of us to pull through.
The challenges that await us are unsettling, but they aren’t insurmountable. We know that by working together, with creativity, resilience and compassion, we can get through this together.