How Can You Make Changes, One Teaspoon at a Time?
All of last week, DCB was very fortunate to have sustainability consultant, keynote speaker, and founder of Teaspoons of Change d'Arcy Lunn work with staff and students. To let our community know more about how d'Arcy goes about his mission and how we can all improve our sustainability efforts, here is an interview with him as conducted by the DCB Media Team.
Q：Could you please briefly explain your organisation Teaspoons of Change?
A：Sure! Teaspoons of Change (http://teaspoonsofchange.org) is an organisation but more of a concept, and it’s trying to put a name on our small actions that have a positive impact. We do these things but it’s often hard to recognise them, so Teaspoons of Change tries to give these small things a name.
Q：Do you think there are different reasons why individuals should be working up to the SDG goals? Is it because all of these actions could add to a real change, or could it also be because it's good for us individually?
A：I think all; we need a sense of connection with the rest of the world. That is a key component for me to be a global citizen; it is knowing that I am connected to someone else. The only thing that differentiates us is where we were born. Essentially, we are all humans, and trying to be loved, and laugh…We’re all similar. So I think that Global Goals are amazing at bringing us together, and they help us focus our attention as well towards doing good things collectively.
Q：There has been a lot of news about climate change recently, from the Amazon fires to President Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord and the G7 summit in Biarritz. In your perspective, how do you try and convince students like me that their input really does make a difference?
A：Ultimately we are only responsible for our own slice of life. If I was to worry about what other people are doing, I would have given up 20 years ago! So I convince myself that my actions matter, and that I can only control what I can in my own life. If I keep to that cause, it’s better than doing nothing. With so many distractions, it hurts. It’s awful. It’s like someone is punching you when you hear those kinds of announcements, but I can only get knocked down and get back up again to keep pushing because my feeling is that if we do nothing, nothing can happen. If we do something, something might happen. There are no guarantees but if I am not out there and other people aren’t either, then we have no chance. I’m basically a climate change counsellor – to keep that optimism for people, to show that we can keep going and try our best and see what happens.
Q：While we’re on the topic of inspiration and encouragement, what is the single most encouraging moment that you’ve experienced since running Teaspoons of Change? Is there one moment or a day that sticks in your memory?
A：No, not in particular. I interact with so many people and I get to see wonderful things all the time. I can only ever be optimistic and positive about the world and the future because I get to interact with people in such a wonderful way – talking about solutions, surrounding myself with people who are optimistic and want to create change together. I love waking up in the morning now, and Teaspoons of Change has been lovely for me to follow my passions, put something out there in the world and interact with people in a way that I love to do. It fills me with hope, ambition and resilience to do more.
Q：In terms of making a difference, how important is it to talk to schools? Do you personally think it is more important to talk to a CEO of a company or a thousand students?
A：For me it is not an either-or because you do both, but I think speaking to businesses are more important at the moment. I believe young people are far more globally literate and competent, and working with businesses the past three months I feel that their change is much slower. I am a teacher and I love education and interacting with young people when learning – I’ll never NOT work in school. It is an important part of me and the work I enjoy doing, but at the same time I have to be pushing businesses to do better as well.
Q：If there are three things you could tell a Dulwich student that they could do every day to make a difference, what would the three things be?
A：Reducing food waste is number 1 – there is a great resource called Drawdown (https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/) that has amazing research showing the top 100 ways to mitigate climate change, and food waste is number 3. Number 2 is stuff – I won’t pretend that as a kid, it’s really hard to say no to stuff, because when your peers have a new phone or a set of shoes that you aspire towards all the while being surrounded by advertising, it’s hard to ignore. But if you could create a culture within your year group or school showing that you honour people who swap clothes or buy from sustainable and ethical brands, that would make a huge change. I think students have a huge power in what they buy and where they go, and in doing so, influencing your peers. Number 3 is your own journey of trying to work out what works for you. I don’t like being prescriptive in saying “you should do this and that”, but just that people should find that their actions matter. It could be shorter showers, getting involved in service or sustainability clubs, and anything else.
From the Media Team:
- Ella R, Y11 (Interviewer)
- Seung Yon K, Y11 (Photographer)
- Annika T, Y13 (Editor)
- Angelina Y, Y13 (Editor)