Trying to Cause Nature Less Harm

This has not got much to do with writing or books but has been increasingly on my mind the last few years. It has become evident that the presence of humanity and the maintenance of our throwaway global culture has wreaked disaster on the world we depend on. Every battle to save nature and wildlife, or conserve resources, is blocked and frustrated and battled.

Along with others, I am in my own small way part of that problem. My first world life is an imposition on the environment. I use plastics and drive a car and the electricity I use is powered by the fossil fuel which environmentalists and scientists are urging us to keep in the ground. I consume the foodstuffs which are intensively farmed at an expense to hedgerows and wildlife. I am a bystander – worse, an active user – while species are being destroyed and lands gouged out because we want convenience, now, always.

I am not a revolutionary and I will never be “green enough”. I lack the sheer guts of Ellie O’Byrne, who along with her family, went entirely plastic free for a month. (I think it says something when you read how difficult the system made it for her to do that.) If I try I will only depress myself with failure, as when I was at college and tried to change my personality to make myself more reserved and interesting to people. (Note: that doesn’t work unless you don’t care what people think.)

What I will try and do is small, local things – one every fortnight – to improve my impact and interactions with nature. I know it is hopeless against the behemoth of The Economy, which we are all supposed to worship. After reading the Headstuff article on reducing plastics (warning – starts with a lot of info about the plastics in the sea which may trigger depression on reading) my first action will be to purchase a Soda Stream as we consume a lot of fizzy drinks and it would cut down on a major source of plastic. I undertake to do that within twenty four hours of this post.

I am not by any means “virtue signalling” – I am very unvirtuous in this regard. I fall short in every way. I’m just hoping that if I say what I’m doing it might spark the idea in others. I will try and blog every fortnight about a thing I have done as it helps accountability. I will do it during Lent, where I have established a custom of abstaining from social media, but not yet sure if I will blog during that time.




  1. I stopped using liquid soap after a friend of mine told me there’s plastic in it too. Now I’m back to soap bars, just like my friend. It’s more massy (if you’re the one who cleans the bathroom, that is 😉 ) But I’m still doing it.

    It’s true, what we can do it’s a drop in the ocean of the problem, but if everyone of us did even one small thing, I believe a big change would eventually happen.

    1. Thanks. I still have such a long way to go. I live with the constant crushing burden of guilt. I know what I’m doing is pathetic. But to do nothing at all is unconscionable, if only for the sake of our children.

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