50 years on from Tommie Smith icon protest; can we do more in our own lives to implement change?

“No matter who you are, you can do better”, Tommie smith explains whilst doing an interview with Radio 5 live for black history month. 50 years on from one of sport more icon moments, can we take courage from this and force change on the day to day of our lives.

Belief and Take Charge;

“We knew what we were going to do was far greater than athletic feat”, considering this was the first time anyone had ever ran under 20 second in 200 meters this mindset is truly inspirational.

Not everyone has the same fight and status of Tommie Smith, but we as individual still have ‘beliefs’ and a ‘voice’. The celebration of this act of courage 50 years ago should be all we need identifies our beliefs and take charge.

Stars like Colin Karpernick will continue to make the ultimate sacrifice losing multi million-pound contracts for what they believe in. Taking a knee during the American anthem is the moment of our generation, this act brought Tommie Smith to tears. These acts are wasted if we don’t draw encourage to make sacrifices on our own level.

Together we can apply pressure to force environmental change for the long term.

Take the recent report of Diary and Meet, avoiding these products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet.  It provides just 18% of our calories but takes up 83% of farmland.

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK. We are not telling everyone to be Vegan, far from it, but can we cut out a few meat meals a week? Encourage friends and family to do the same, that is what it takes, question the norms of society.

Replacement Products; huge market of product now available

A switch to these plant-based milks is a small individual change, which collectively we could make a real difference.

Oat Milk:

Soya and Almond milk were both alternative we had heard of, but oat milk is defiantly a new trend. Made from oats and enriched with Vitamins and calcium whilst being low in saturated fat. Meaning it is a low-fat option with all the goodness of oats. Brand of choice is Oat-Ly Barista Edition.

Almond Milk:

A blend of almonds and spring fortifies with calcium and vitamins, very popular with vegans and anyone avoiding animal products, Works best with coffee. Our brand of choice would have to be Innocent Almond Diary Free.

Soy Milk:

Soymilk is comparable in protein content to cow’s milk and is low in fat. Perfect for non-diary drinks who are looking for low fat options. Our favorites brand is Alpo Soya.

Biodegradable & Compostable Packaging Alternatives;

Do you know if your favorite places to grab a coffee or drink are currently taking an interest in the environment with the goods they provide? Maybe if enough of us take an interest, we can encourage a change?

Bioplastics really are the future, being both commercially compostable and biodegradable. They are by far the most sustainable option when it comes to single use items that use plastic.

Coffee Cups:

Instead of being lined with plastic, Ingeo bio plastic has the same performance characteristics but made from renewable resources. Whilst the paper that the cup is made from, can be from managed forests.

Smoothie Cups:

Bioplastic can also be used for this product,

Straws and Plastic Cutlery, this really is the takeaway packaging of the future. If we ask the right questions to high users of single use packaging, then the right changes will be made.

Conclusion; at what cost?

The only reason people aren’t using more milk alternatives, is cost. Some fancy coffee places in London charge an extra 0.60p to an already expensive coffee price. It is the same with compostable packaging, it costs more per cup and some business owners cannot look past the bottom line.

Will we get to a stage where we look past these costs or reward the business’ that are trying? The first phase of this process is individuals taking note of what is around them and applying pressure.