Shooting at storms
Have you seen it? The force of mother nature unleashing in such a way that we can do nothing but bunker down and take in her fury and beauty. Hurricane Irma has been a lot for people to take in. The devastation is widespread and relief efforts to provide food, water, and shelter are imperative at this point in time. Watching the news feed in the lead up to the hurricane reaching Florida I saw a Sheriff tell people they will ‘fight’ the hurricane (I immediately thought ‘HOW’). Another giggle-worthy moment was the news headline:
Destruction caused by extreme weather is no laughing matter, but in the case of a ‘shoot at the hurricane’ prank taken too far, it’s important to consider how we view our reactions to struggles in life.
ESPECIALLY when it comes to sustainability.
And there is a lesson to be learned from Irma in how we approach challenges in life (real hurricanes or metaphorical ones).
How you use your ammunition.
How often have you spent time shooting at hurricanes when your efforts could be better spent elsewhere? Sure, we all want to feel like we are making a difference but you have to be selective in what you are fighting for to create maximum impact.
Should you be spending time nagging your broke friend to stop buying her cheap t-shirts that she loves from a company that uses unethical labour practices (shooting the hurricane) when you could use that same time to write to the company about changing their labour practices instead?
There is no right or a wrong way to be sustainability minded. Shooting at a hurricane has it’s merits. It gives a sense of control, the illusion of change, and makes you feel gosh-darn relieved to have done something. But mostly it’s a waste of bullets. Which is fine if you have plenty of bullets to waste.
Your time and money is your ammunition for global change.
Do you want to shoot strategically with love and compassion? Or do you want to wave wildly and angrily at a storm just to make yourself feel better? In the wake of hurricane Irma the most important thing you can do is to choose to invest that ammunition you have into doing something positive. Here are some ways that you can help support hurricane relief:
- Donate to Red Cross Hurricane Relief
- If you are more of the practical sort you can fund repair kits sent to areas hard-hit by cyclone destruction through ShelterBox.
- Global Giving has a donation page set up specifically for Irma relief funds.
- If you want to support animal welfare in storm affected Florida you can donate here.
- Go Fund Me has developed their own page where you can donate to relief or fund a campaign directly.
- Gypsy and Magnolia are hosting a charity auction on their website where funds of fashion sales go to Irma Hurricane relief (image is of a product on offer).
- If you are local to any of the affected areas keep watch over the upcoming days for ways that you can directly help with the clean up, drop off supplies, or help others with food/shelter/ or other amenities.
Generally speaking money is the best for of relief for disaster affected areas immediately after impact as it can purchase supplies from nearby areas. Sending goods can be tempting but for most parts it’s logistically difficult because transport channels and storage facilities are damaged, and handling and distribution can be difficult until clean up has begun.
Were you affected by the storm directly? Can you identify areas in life where you might be ‘shooting at hurricanes’? What can you do today to make a difference in a meaningful and impactful way?