The Greener Choice: making sustainable life choices.

View of the sky through the canopy/

An Undeniable Connection

The affinity we have with nature is innate.  It is not something we can simply deny or ignore; even the most devout of urban dwellers revels in the chance to replace their concrete surroundings with the patchwork quilts of green and yellow that shape our ‘countryside’.

Whitehaven beach
(Hamilton Island Enterprises, 2016).

Every year we Brits settle down and make our big plans for the summer; we dream of holidays filled with sun, sea, sand, and even mountains; we revert to our younger selves as we anticipate a day at the zoo; and we marvel at exotic landscapes.  Yet we are living in an age where our connection with nature is overshadowed by the other aspects of our lives we choose to prioritise – the luxuries and practicalities brought about by modern day technology.

We have lost sight of the true beauty and complexities of our natural environment and, as a result, we have become more disconnected from nature than ever. To be quite frank, we demonstrate a real disregard for our environment every day through the food that we eat to the waste we produce.

Social Change

Thankfully, with the help of media attention and armies of dedicated activists, the world is becoming painfully aware of the state of its planet.  In spite of heavy criticism from climate deniers, people across the globe are starting to incorporate eco-friendly choices into their daily lives.  Moreover, organisations worldwide are sourcing sustainable materials and seeking alternative sustainable processes to ensure that they limit their environmental impact.

Environmental responsibility is now viewed as the acceptable way to do business, not simply an alternative.

Climate change activists

Practice what you preach

I, like many, always thought I was an environmentally friendly person; I don’t litter, I care for wildlife, I recycle, and I try hard not to waste food (an extremely arrogant first world issue to have!).  For the most part my fiance and I do our very best to live a greener life within the limits of our monetary and time constraints.

As it turns out much of the waste I produce is unsustainable and much of the food I eat is sourced unsustainably.  Not to mention, many of the outdoor/wildlife related excursions I have enjoyed during my travels have impacted the environment.

Over the last couple of years I have been trying to make eco-friendly choices.  But, earlier this year I realised that ‘trying to’ is just not good enough.  If I truly want to make a difference and inspire change, then I have to start making permanent changes to my lifestyle.

The Greener Choice

Road signs that point in the direction of 'green living'
(GoGreen.org, 2017)

A little while ago I decided to eliminate beef from my diet after watching ‘Cowspiracy‘ for the first time.  I also attempt to boycott plastic wherever possible; I no longer use single use plastic bottles or plastic bags.  Daniel and I deliberately purchase wonky veg (though this is possibly a matter of principle more than anything), and we have a cupboard packed with re-usable coffee mugs, one of which I will happily pack in my bag in case the urge for a latte strikes while I am out.

If you are yet to purchase your own coffee mug then please read Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘war on waste‘.

There are many more changes I would like to make and I intend to make them.  However, there are the issues of practicality and money to consider; in summation, I have chronic IBS and, while this remains unresolved, I have to consider dietary choices very carefully. Furthermore, Daniel and I do not have the luxury of two incomes and with an uncertain year ahead in terms of money, we also have to consider sourcing alternative products carefully.

I have set myself, and by extension my fiance, the challenge of making an eco-friendly choice every 2 months (I was concerned that making a change every month would be unrealistic considering the above issues), such as sourcing alternative food products, brands that incorporate sustainable packaging, and the boycotting of plastic products.

To ensure I stay on track, and to provide a little inspiration for others who wish to do the same, I will post updates on my ‘greener choices’ as I make them, so…watch this space! 🙂 

Posted by

Kristina Middleton is an aspiring wildlife conservationist with big dreams. Based in Bath, she is currently researching the early social developments of the critically endangered Livingstone's Fruit Bat. She is a field data and publications volunteer for Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and a freelance wildlife surveyor for Keystone Environmental. She has worked in the field in South Africa, and Madagascar, assisting important wildlife conservation initiatives, and is always seeking new opportunities to learn. Krissy is committed to a future in conservation and, by sharing her experiences, wishes to inspire others to get involved.

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