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Making A Difference Starts With One Step

Making A Difference Starts With One Step

Have you heard the story about the old man who loved walking along the beach. One day  he saw a person moving like  dancer, bending, then wading out into the waves with arms extended. As he got closer he saw it was a young girl but she wasn’t dancing. She was reaching down into the sand and picking something up and then carrying it carefully out into the ocean.

“Hello, what are you doing,” he called out. “I’m returning the starfish to the ocean,” she replied.


“The sun is up and the tide is going out and it I don’t rescue them they will be stranded on the beach and die.”

“But there are miles and miles of beach with starfish. What difference can you possibly make?”

The girl didn’t answer straight away. She bent down and picked up another starfish and carefully placed it in the sea as a wave picked it up and it sank into the sea. She watched  and then turned to the man and said, “I made a difference to that one.”

He thought about it for a moment and then bent down and returned some starfish to the sea.

One small act by each of us may seem like a drop in the ocean but everything we do has a ripple effect that multiplies its impact. When we turn a light off we save up to three times and much energy as the light would have consumed.

Every walk, bike ride instead of a car journey or holiday at home prevents pollution, saves natural resources, money and improves our health and well-being.  As Cityhop, NZ’s first car share company says, every car share car takes between 15-20 cars off the road. That’s a lot less wear and tear on our roads, less emissions going into the air and cleaner waterways. Then there’s the money savings our members get from not owning a car.

The more of us who start to make a difference, the closer we get to Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point. The ripple effect, hundredth monkey principle or tipping point is what happens when enough of us start doing something differently and soon everyone is following suit, naturally.

Be mindful of the choices you can make and their impact on the environment.

What are you going to eat today; how will you travel today, what are you going to buy and how will you exercise your democratic right and make sure you get heard?

Step 1 in making a difference might be to consider car share. Our transport use is one of the biggest polluters and contributors to greenhouse gases. Car share gives you easy access to a car. For only $15 an hour you can drive whereever you need to in an eco-friendly brand new car - that includes the gas. Car share members walk more, have more money in their pocket from the savings made and seem happier! (it’s less stressful than being in the fast lane).