We caught up with eco-blogger Holly from @leotielovely to share her top tips on living a more sustainable, eco-friendly life and her visions for the future of our planet.
What does ‘sustainability’ mean to you?
Sustainability to me means learning to live in symbiosis with the earth, leaving as little of a footprint personally, and as a society, as possible.
Why is being eco-friendly so important to you?
Our planet – and by proxy, our species and all living things – is in a mighty mound of trouble at the moment, I think green living and green policy are the most important issues of our time. Without collective action in changing our own lifestyles, the way we run our businesses, and the way our governments create policy and subsidies, we’re going to find ourselves having a hard time finding food, fresh water, land, clean air and safe shelter. It’s a frightening reality I feel responsible in helping us try to avoid, if possible.
What was the turning point for you / when did you take action to live a more sustainable life and why?
I grew up on organic food, wearing second-hand clothing, in a minimal impact household, so there wasn’t really a turning point. But my rebellion, when I was in my late teens and early twenties was to become a cheerleader, eat McDonald’s, and buy fast fashion clothing. I was brought up to know better, I just had to see what it felt like to know worse before I did a 360 and ended up, once again, mirroring my mother.
What’s the most important thing you have learnt from nature?
That all the magic and enchantment we knew as children, still exists there.
What are three things everyone should know about living a more sustainable life?
Reuse, Reduce, Rewild /Regenerate what you have as much as possible, single-use anything is no good for anybody. Reduce: your waste, your purchases, your impact, there are thousands of ways we can gear down and encourage our communities and governments to as well.
Rewild / Regenerate: all the land you can, the earth needs a bit of time and space to heal without our hands on her. If you own any land at all, especially in the UK, I suggest getting your hands on Isabella Tree’s book Wilding, or George Monbiot’s book Feral to inspire you. If you’re a fisher, hunter, gardener, farmer, or agricultural policy maker, get to know all you can behind the movement of regenerative agriculture, we have to protect our soil and seas first and foremost if we want to save ourselves.
If you could get everyone in the world to do one thing to help decrease climate change what would it be and why?
Stop flying and stop/reduce eating red meat. Those are two simple actions which have an incredibly negative impact which we as individuals can control. Take boats or trains (loco2 is a great source for train travel on this continent) and eat game, legumes or grains. Simples.
What worries you most about the planet right now and why?
How quickly it is all unravelling.
How can we help people to take climate change and sustainability seriously?
Encourage the people in your life to start with something and motivate them with your own positive action. It can be anything, the way you shop, what you eat, where you travel, minimizing your waste, composting … the list goes on. Just start with one thing and see where that single interest takes you … you’ll undoubtedly find yourself feeling empowered and inspired.
How can we encourage children and the younger generation to get involved in climate change and sustainability?
Education, get them to care while they’re young and still have that nurturing nature. Get your kids and teens outside, enrol them in programs which help them engage with the natural world as much as possible, and encourage them to volunteer as well!
How can we get bigger corporations and influencers to get on board with sustainability?
Collaboration, we all kind of do our thing, I think, and I’m realizing more and more we have to jump on board and actually DO something collectively. I think influencers and corporations need to work together to push policy from the top down. It’s not fair to expect consumers to be responsible for a situation which was never their fault, to begin with, we have to have a bit of a revolution through collective positive (peaceful) action.
If you could fast forward to 2029 what would you like the world to look like?
GREEN, very green (and blue). There was a picture floating around the internet last month which showed the earth now and the earth ten years ago. When you look at it from space now, the land is almost completely brown, ten years ago, it was green.
How do you find out more about the latest in advances sustainability?
I personally am part of a group of writers called Ethical Writers Coalition and I glean most my information from that group of intelligent women. I also find Al Jezzera to be fairly unbiased.
Are there any books or documentaries you can recommend to our readers?
Planet Ocean (Youtube)
Before The Flood (Netflix)
Racing Extinction (Amazon / iTunes)
True Cost (Netflix)
Tapped (Amazon / iTunes)
Food Inc (Netflix / Amazon / iTunes)
Vanishing Of Bees (Amazon)
What is one product you are really excited about right now that is helping the planet?
I got really pumped about PELA Cases, they use agricultural waste from Canadian flax farming to create their phone cases which are completely compostable. I think anything being created which is making use of agricultural waste (without the use of chemicals) is the future of fashion and of lifestyle products.