The Wise Blog

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  1. The words of Nina, my lovely yoga teacher, who is giving her home an eco overhaul (a particular challenge given her Irish roots which she says dictate generous use of sudo creme and bleach!!).
    She was inspired in part after watching the documentary 'Stink' on Netflix 
    which follows a single dad's search to uncover the realities of the toxins used in the clothing industry (now on my 'must-watch' list). It had a big impact on her and, like many of us, she has decided to make changes in the home in stages, to make it more 'do-able'.
    I've tried to reflect this approach with the The Wise House, organising the website according to lifestyle areas like housekeeping and out'n'about. For each area, there is a corresponding eco starter/gift set  so that you can kit yourself out or gift to an eco warrior friend. You can buy as little or as much as you need, and each box is stamped with Eco Geek Starter Kit.

    In addition, there is also at least one blog post for each area, with tips on how and where to make changes.
    It has been an interesting week. Brexit hasn't stolen all of the headlines, as XR continue to protest in central London (including outside hubby's office), prompting discussion and debate across all areas of media and in the House of Commons. The Queen gave her speech, which included a commitment to reduce plastic across the royal estate. 
    BBC Radio 5Live had a very interesting guest on their show this week - Naomi Klein, author of ‘On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal’, a book which explores how bold climate action can be a blueprint for a fairer society where wealth is measured differently, and we move away from a growth ecomomy. This interview with The Guardian gives a good insight into her ideas:
    On the home front, my son has agreed not to have an advent calendar this year, to avoid the plastic (I can't find a plastic-free chocolate calendar). My daughter strongly disagreed with my suggestion. You win some, you lose some!
    As a result of the increased media coverage people are talking, sharing, debating...and many are making changes. Maybe it's time to tackle the teeth, heh? :-D
    Eco Geek Packed Lunch Kit
    You commute, you travel, you study. Be prepared! Water bottle, coffee cup, food tin for using and refilling on-the-go.
    Eco Geek Starter Kit
    Choose organic cotton, natural deodorant and reusable food wrap to reduce the waste and toxins in your life.
    Eco Care Starter Kit
    Tackle the teeth with natural toothpaste and bamboo toothbrushes. Switch wet wipes for cotton make up wipes and more...
    Eco Grocery Starter Set
    Organic cotton string and linen bags, for bagging up your loose foodstuffs and storing at home.
    Eco Cleaning Starter Set
    Jack in the jay cloths, spurn the throwaway sponge, bat away the bleach...there are plenty of brilliant biodegradable alternatives.
  2. Every night my husband brings home the daily edition of Metro and Evening Standard from the tube for me to peruse of an evening (maybe do the crossword). It hit me this week how much of an exponetial growth there has been in the column inches given over to issues around the enviroment.  I've jotted down the details of so many features, articles, news reports that there are too many to mention!

    Friends and family are now becoming so engaged that they are tipping me off on what to watch and read (used to be the other way around!). For example my lovely yoga teacher told me about the documentary 'Stink!' (available on Netflix) which follows a single dad's search to uncover the realities of the toxins used in the clothing industry. I haven't seen it yet, but it has had a huge impact on her, and made her look at everything in her home and everyday life with fresh eyes.

    Ask a 5 year old or your granny, and they will most likely know who Greta and Extension Rebellion are. They are headline news! The result brings with it something of a backlash, as people are keen to point out their failings - they don't offers realistic solutions, they've probably all got iphones, why don't they invest their energies in technological solutions, we can't change? Etc.

    I think people are missing the point. To drive change, and here we are talking about MASSIVE coordinated global change, you need spokespersons. That is what the likes of Greta and ER are doing. They are leading a movement which will at first disrupt and get people LISTENING. Lots of people won't like it, but the very fact that it drives conversation in the first place is the point.  

    In order to bring about change in any walk of life, you need a coordinated effort of all types of different people. Leaders, innovators, strategists, scientists, teachers, parents - everyone has the power to influence, and collectively this will bring about change in households, communities, schools, businesses, governments etc.

    On BBC Radio 5Live this morning, the presenter read out a text from a caller who said that (in a nutshell) there is 'no point' in trying to tackle environmental issues as population growth will put pay to us all anyway. One of the guests responded by telling us about Thomas Malthus, an 18th century English cleric and scholar, who predicted that we would have reached capacity hundreds of years (and billions of people) ago.

    Human intellect and technology has enabled us to survive way beyond his predictions. If the public wave of support continues to grow, it will drive increased investment in green technology alongside natural climate solutions. A multitude of other changes could happen - a move to non-growth capitalism, a different way of looking at GDP, changes in industrial farming and the way we eat, protection and restoration of the natural world. Can I say with certainty that all these things will happen? Of course not. But I can choose to hope.

    There is so much nuance in all of this, and we must leave room for it, rather than picking one side over another. We might not always like it, or agree with everyone all of the time, or want to glue ourselves to a vehicle for the cause, but we can stay hopeful, willing to listen, willing to change...and leave the cynicism at the door.