A small action is better than no action


By Simon Gullery, Bupa Health Services Director of Risk Governance & Quality Assurance.

Growing up in New Zealand I distinctly remember seeing campaigns focused on keeping the country green and beautiful. These messages always resonated with me as someone who enjoys being out in nature and conscious of the role our environment plays in the wellbeing of all living things.

When I moved to Australia and became a parent, I was delighted to see similar campaigns along with companies such as Bupa sharing my passion for conservation.

When it comes to sustainability, setting an example for our children at home and at work is vital – which is why I was so pleased that Bupa supported Sustainable September, a festival of family-friendly events and activities in Melbourne’s Fed Square that promoted a healthier and more environmentally friendly planet.

Along with showcasing some amazing technologies and organisations which are making a difference in the fight against climate change, the event drove home the message that a sustainable journey can stem from a single action or pledge.

This is something I have always relayed to my kids who have made some major pledges of their own.

What’s happening in the Gullery household

Simon Gullery, Bupa Health Services Director of Risk Governance & Quality Assurance

The kids regularly pick up rubbish even if it isn’t their own. It’s now become a habit in the family. Recently, my son did a lap of the oval while watching his sister play footy, picking up seven bottles and putting them in the bin. He was so proud of himself… but not nearly as proud as I was of him!

Simon Gullery, Bupa Health Services Director of Risk Governance & Quality Assurance

We have also started our own veggie garden even though none of us have a ‘green thumb.’ The kids love to plant the seeds and then pick from the garden, with snow peas and carrots the current favourites. Our next family project will be installing nest boxes for Australian native animals, with the help of one of our Bupa Foundation partners – Conservation Volunteers Australia.

Recently we have made other changes to our home including installing solar panels, replacing gas hot water and ducted heating with electric and in early September swapped out our diesel vehicle for a fully electric car that is charged using our solar system.

Reflecting on our progress

As Sustainable September comes to a close, I am filled with pride looking back on my family’s progress. These reflections have also fuelled my desire to do more for the sake of our planet that future generations will inherit.

I realise we have made a range of lifestyle changes, but I strongly believe we can do more and that there is a real benefit in every small action. If we’re all doing small things, they will add up to a big impact.

Tips for beginning your own sustainability journey

If you are wondering where and how you should start your own sustainable journey, there is no hard and fast rule. But here are some thought starters:

  • Just start somewhere – Don’t get hung up on outcomes, pick something achievable and simple and let that be a launching point.
  • Be prepared to fail – When it comes to more involved activities like growing your own produce, composting or installing animal nesting boxes, remember it’s a learning experience so be prepared that it might not work the first time. Just have a go and see what happens!
  • Have an inquiring mind – There is lots of information out there and passionate people to connect with. The more questions you ask the better.
  • Be visible and open – It might spark an engaging conversation, inspire another person or lead to an amazing volunteering opportunity.

There is no I in Planet Earth… let’s do this together!