Today marks half a century of climate awareness on the 50th Earth Day, and comes at a pivotal moment in history. For all of its destruction, the COVID-19 crisis has also demanded a much needed moment of pause, a moment of reflection.
I was personally reminded of the sheer power of Mother Nature when our new neighbourhood was rocked by a freak wave last week. It felt to me like a poignant reminder that humanity and nature have been out of sync for too long. In the coming months we have the opportunity to rebuild our systems in harmony with our planet – an opportunity we are highly unlikely to be given again.
Climate change cannot be deprioritized as we try to get our economies back on their feet. Done right, one can support the other. We may not have the power to make decisions, but we have the power to challenge and speak up. The more voices that demand long-term, sustainable solutions for rebuilding our economies, the more likelihood of this happening.
A handful of things the team and I have learnt these past weeks and will carry into creating a better, more sustainable, ‘normal’…
- Less (business) travel: Whether it’s driving across town for a meeting, or flying across the world for an event. The last weeks have shown that business can operate without the face-to-face. There will always be a place for gathering, but resetting our expectations of what warrants an in-person meeting will reduce our travel significantly.
- Less (personal) travel: For years dashing off for a long weekend or short holiday was just too tempting – the cost of travel, too accessible (and certainly not reflecting the ‘true cost’). When we can travel again, we pledge to be more choiceful, travelling less far, less frequently, and discovering the joy of staying close to home.
- Supporting local: When you know someone’s livelihood depends on your loyalty, shopping locally becomes exponentially more rewarding. Knowledgeable store staff who care about the product life-cycle and you as a customer, will make sure you get what you really want, need and will cherish.
- Planting: Not for centuries has a home vegetable garden been quite so relevant, or brought so much joy. We know that forest restoration can play a major role in mitigating climate change and emissions, and we intend to plant and nurture wherever possible.
- Being, not consuming: Baking our own bread, reading books for hours on end, or playing with the kids in the garden. Uncertainty and fear aside, we’ve enjoyed the simpler life and will continue to spend more time just being, and enjoying what we have.
This Earth Day, let’s use the pause to get things on track for a better tomorrow,
Frances & the team.