I was lucky enough to grow up in the English countryside. My childhood consisted of forest walk exploration, playing in a field behind my house with the neighbours, riding horses, visiting farms and enjoying all that nature had to offer.
It is probably because of this that I developed a strong passion for protecting this amazing planet we call home and all the creatures that inhabit it.
As a child, I remember taking glass to the ‘Bottle bank’ for recycling every week, and then newspaper could be recycled. I remember when cans could be recycled and we used to separate the aluminium from tin at school. So, recycling is not a new thing…this was 25-30 years ago! I’m proud and grateful to my mother who did this with me and instilled in me the importance of helping to protect our planet.
Now we use the term ‘Sustainability’, but this is not just recycling, it encompasses a huge range of things.
So, what does sustainability mean to you? What do you think it looks like in everyday living?
For me, striving to live as sustainably as possible is something I feel strongly about. I am in no way perfect, I use disposable nappies with my daughter and I do not use a composting toilet! I do things like recycle or reuse everything I can, conserve power and water as much as possible, buy New Zealand grown fruit and veg, we have our own vegetable garden, compost system and worm farm, we use collected rain water to water the veggies, I buy second hand items and donate unwanted clothes, toys and other things to charity.
Another big part of sustainability as I see it is how to protect all the other inhabitants of earth and how to preserve habitats in order to help with this. Imagine living in a world where species such as gorillas, orang-utans and rhinoceros were only found in a handful of zoos and then gone, completely. This may seem extreme, but is actually a reality that could happen as soon as our grandchildren’s generation. I for one do not want to deprive future generations of amazing animals such as these.
However, to me, more than recycling, more than buying sustainable products, I pass the message of sustainability onto children, the next generation, my daughter in the hope that they will do the same. They are, after all, as the song goes ‘our future’. Getting children involved in projects such as gardening and up cycling items helps them to understand the importance of protecting our planet and all its inhabitants, educating them and sharing the message of sustainability is, I believe, the real key to ‘living sustainably’. I want my daughter to grow up involved in sustainable practice as a way of life so that it’s no longer called ‘living sustainably’; it’s just called living.