You ARE Nature.

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Humans are a part of nature. Seeing so many posts about how the pandemic is good for nature, YOU ARE NATURE YOU IDIOT. One of the reasons we’re in this mess is thinking we’re somehow above or apart from everything else on this earth. Linking global shutdown in the face of a pandemic to what we need to do to prevent climate chaos isn’t particularly helpful. By all means share the clean, clear waters of Venice, the breathable air in China (which some experts reckon has saved 50,000 lives usually lost to pollution related respiratory issues) and spread the love for spending more time in nature. BUT don’t equate this time of worry, stress and anxiety, drastic life changes and death with what the climate crisis requires. That’s what we’re trying to avoid for millions of people by addressing emissions now. We don’t have to stop living our lives to fix a broken planet, we’ll still enjoy the best things (which as Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson told us are free anyway) in fact systems change is going to require face to face, hand shaking, high fiving, community gathering, people holding spaces. There will be beers. So go outside and get your hands dirty (you’ll be washing them anyway) and appreciate the quiet and the clean air, but don’t post about how this is ‘nature’s way’ of redressing the balance because, once again and louder for those at the back, WE ARE NATURE.

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The Only Way is Ethics.

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How we start conversations is important. I NEVER comment on other people’s choices when it comes to travel, food, clothing or packaging. If people’s first reaction is defensiveness that’s because they feel attacked. This is also about punching up not punching down, we’re not in the situation we’re in because Susan likes bacon or Nicky wanted a new dress. It’s a market failure not a moral failure. I’m not preaching or doing this because it’s ‘worthy’ or gives me the moral high ground, I’m just as messy and complicated as any other human being, I don’t have all the answers. So I’m not here to judge anyone’s individual choices influenced by their economic position, their faith, their disabilities, their culture, their gender or anything else. I’m not the eco/social police, I don’t care if you drive a diesel, forget to recycle or bought something to make yourself feel better. In the words of the inimitable Mary Heglar ‘stop obsessing over your environmental sins…all I need you to do is want a livable future’. And that is really what it boils down to. No shame here, just support and acknowledgement. However if you’re a business or organisation and you aren’t taking your environmental and social impact into account, prepare for the full wrath of my ‘insultancy’, which consists of a careful audit, helpful recommendations and accountability and support. Image is from the latest edition @thewindow_magazine

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Over the threshold and into regenerative thinking

The environment is inextricable from the social

Recycling is not enough

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RECYCLING IS NOT ENOUGH. It’s sunk in that we can’t landfill or incinerate our way out of the waste crisis. There is no ‘away’ where we can throw things. Unfortunately lots of businesses seem to think that recycling alone is the answer. Recycling is great for glass, metal, paper (when powered by renewable energy) as part of a closed loop, regenerative system. Plastics are a different kettle of fish (and those fish are full of micro plastics). Only certain plastics can be recycled and only once or twice at best, meaning the material is downgraded each time. It requires fossil fuels to make and energy to recycle and there’s no regenerative opportunity. Everything we make must go back to the earth as poison or food. There are huge technological advances being made in breaking down plastics with bacteria, creating bio-plastics and recovering plastic from the environment. However there’s a reason that REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE is in that order and the best technological solutions won’t be able to deal with the amount of useless plastic currently being pumped into the system. Plastic isn’t bad, it’s the pinnacle of human ingenuity, giving us fridges, phones and incubators. But the way we use it for pointless throwaway items is the pinnacle of human stupidity. What’s your business doing to disrupt the system? Relying on recycling alone is just business as usual.

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