This weekend I gave a presentation at the Cambridge Festival of Climate and Sustainability about the importance of re-connecting people with the natural world, enough that they will want to take better care of it. It was a timely event given that, thanks to those children who marched against climate change last week, the topic is at the forefront of most people’s minds.
It was incredibly alarming to hear the exact statistics of how climate change is affecting the natural world but most frightening was to learn how rapidly the problem will continue to worsen if we don’t change our habits. Sadly, we can’t rely on politicians to make the right decisions about climate change. However, the overriding message from the event was that if we adults make changes now, we can lessen the negative impact we are making on the natural world and hopefully leave a less ugly legacy for our children.
So, this blog is to pass on my reality check. I’ve realised it’s beyond time to sit up, listen to those who are stamping their feet and start stamping my own feet in earnest. Not literally of course but proverbially, starting with four simple but important changes:
- Cut down on red meat and dairy consumption – simply eating less will help.
- Stop buying single use plastic – refill whenever possible.
- Manage food waste better – only buy the quantity of food actually needed.
- Change to a 100% green energy provider – actually very straightforward and can be cheaper
As you’ll see, these are easily achievable actions that could be put into place today. What I like is that these few lifestyle changes are in no way extreme or unobtainable. I will openly admit that cutting down on red meat and cheese will likely be challenging but I have a responsibility to do something more. At the end of the day, it’s the grown-ups in most families who buy the food, plan the meals, take out the bins and pay the bills so I have no good reason not to set the wheels in motion. The irony is that every Forest School practitioner teaches children to care for nature but are we caring for it ourselves?
I’ll leave you with the words of Greta Thunberg, the inspiring Swedish teenager who, with her Friday protests against climate change, has stimulated the collective stamping of young feet all over the world.
“Many people say that this is not an easy issue, we cannot just say that this is how it is, it’s not black and white. But I say that this is black and white. Either we stop the emissions or we don’t. There are no grey areas when it comes to survival.”
To read the statistics for yourself visit
And to see how you can help visit