Green Tuesdays – Why small changes lead to big impact

Melinda Gates
I don’t have any idea how people find the guts to speak up against waves of tradition, but when they do, they always end up with followers who have the same conviction but not quite the same courage. That’s how leaders are born. They say what others want to say, and the others then join them. That’s how a young woman can change not only her life but her culture.
The Moment of Lift, p. 108

At the brink of Green Tuesday’s 15th week, I am tuning in from home in Hungary. I felt it was time to dial in on the intention of sharing weekly recipes with a climate conscious perspective at heart. For 14 weeks now, I’ve been sharing affordable, accessible, meat-free recipes to inspire lifestyle changes on any scale around me. It is my firm belief that each of us can make a positive impact while enjoying life to the fullest. I aspire to bring joy, positivity and shine light on planetary lifestyle choices.

I am positive

Ample research alerts us to the implications of meat consumption. What intrigues me most, is the disconnect and noise that persist around the topic. I am curious about the ways in which we can shift the conversation into a gear that is inclusive rather than pointing fingers and shaming each other. After all, we really are all in this together. How can we develop an understanding for waves of tradition, the wider social construct and bring about lasting positive change? These are some of the questions that pave the way for my point of departure.

Challenge accepted

In February I summoned the courage to speak up from a place of connection rather than knowing better. I challenged the biggest meat-eater I know to try a veggie diet once a week. Namely, my Dad! For a number of years, we have been joking around about each other’s meals of choice. During my last visit at home our diet tease came to a new turn. While spending quality time together, we struck up an honest conversation about lifestyle. I voiced my concerns about the wide repercussions of overconsuming meat and suggested he could try to skip it one day a week. To my biggest surprise he said yes! More than that, he didn’t even resist.

I believe, part of the reason why he was sold on the idea was because he saw how deeply I cared about the topic. He is not a big fan of plants, nevertheless he was willing to give it a shot. I can’t express how much respect I have for people like my Dad who dare to try things that are way out of their comfort zone, and learn from others despite not agreeing or even liking what they have to say at first. It takes character to recognise and respect someone’s passion and to trust them enough to go with it. Personally, I could not be more excited and humbled to NOT preach to the choir. The biggest impact is to be made beyond early adopters and I am all in to find ways to connect with traditionalists, or dare I say, conservatives and sceptics.

Rising tide elevates all boats

I was raised in a loving family with strong values of community and caring for people we love. So, I started small. Every Tuesday, I strive to support anyone who is willing to implement habits that matter. You need not be vegetarian or vegan. Green Tuesdays are not about assigning labels. They are about experimenting with what works, dropping the aggressive and radical approach. We just keep on learning and celebrating incremental improvements that eventually translate to marginal gains.

It’s week 14. Friends and family have jumped on the Green Tuesday-wagon. We are cutting our impact and getting healthier thanks to small weekly gestures. It turns out that trying new things doesn’t have to be scary. Perhaps, we can give ourselves permission to learn, fall and rise back up again. Green Tuesdays give us a platform to do that. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s for everybody… and it’s working!

Follow the movement