“We are the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth” Sir David Attenborough, COP26.Addressing delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties 26 (COP26), the annual climate change conference held this year in Glasgow, Sir David Attenborough urges leaders to take action in his usual frank, but inspiring way. Will commitments and actions stemming from this conference start to reduce atmospheric carbon? Or will they keep rising for decades to come?, he asks of our leaders. … More Climate Change Needs Problem Solvers Like You
Studying environmental science at university in the early 2000s, I would often leave class in despair. There was too much wrong, too much environmental degradation, too many negative environmental trends. Unfortunately, the health of earth has progressively worsened since then. Today, I’m easily overwhelmed when I consider the global challenges we all face. Challenges like … More Why You Should Care About the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Introducing Community Changemakers, a sustainability education programme that supports people to instigate positive changes in their communities and surrounding environment through the development of community led projects for change. … More Introducing Community Changemakers
The year was 1996 and I was transfixed to the TV, spurring on the kiwi hopeful Danyon Loader, in the 200m Freestyle at the Atlanta Olympics. In the space of 1 minute and 47 seconds, Danyon won the gold medal (and three days later clinched the 400m Freestyle title as well), inspiring me, along with … More The Olympics: Selfish or Inspirational?
Before embarking on the five day hike in Queensland, Australia, my number one fear of hiking solo had been snakes. Growing up in New Zealand, we were imbued with the knowledge that Australia was overrun with an endless list of menacing wildlife: crocodiles, sharks, dingoes, snakes, spiders. Danger lurked everywhere. Snakes are scary. … More Confronting Fear: Wisdom From Solo Adventuring
The first time I consciously remember realising there was a difference between boys and girls (apart from the obvious differences in appearance and body parts) was when as child I questioned why girl’s bikes were shaped differently to boy’s. I was curious to understand why the cross bar was slanted on a girl’s bike, but horizontal on a boy’s. I don’t recall the exact response, but it was something to do with the contrasting ways girls and boys supposedly mounted and dismounted bikes. Boys were to swing their legs round the back wheel, whereas girls could hitch their leg across the front of the seat, which was apparently easier. … More Gender Equality: International Women’s Day Reflections
When was the last time you felt lonely? Many of us may be hesitant to admit it, but loneliness is as common as swimming at the beach during an Australian summer. It is rarely talked about however, perhaps because of the stigma that follows it like a dark shadow on a dimly lit street. I’m … More The Loneliness Pandemic and Why We are Better Together
Life hurls challenges at us. Sometimes we create them for ourselves through mistakes or by purposefully seeking challenging situations. Other times, the world blindly trips us up without warning. Regardless of how adversity arrives at our doorstep, it is implicit in the nature of life. … More Navigating Adversity
We don’t have control over a lot in life, but we can:
Choose to be gentle on ourselves, granting ourselves time to restore, reflect and re-energise when we need it.
Choose to be kind to those we interact with. It’s been shown the astounding ripple effect that small acts of kindness can have from tiny apparently insignificant acts of kindness. … More Christmas Chaos, Covid-19 and Control
We all need courage in our lives. Courage to thrive in darkness. … More Courage
A week ago I was feeling fairly blasé about coronavirus. We were laughing at the stupidity of people panic buying toilet paper and hand sanitiser. Since then, I’ve been realising the scale and seriousness of this pandemic. I’ve been devouring information from the World Health Organisation, discovering why we should approach the pandemic with a systems-thinking lens and curiously analysing interactive maps showing confirmed cases throughout the world. … More Why Coronavirus is an Opportunity
One day I hope that children won’t have to work so their families can survive,
That they won’t have to work in factories or scavenge plastic bottles or find crabs to sell. … More One Day
During my most recent sojourn to Myanmar, I thought about what it means to be an ethical traveller. As a person who strives to live a responsible life – both environmentally and socially, is it possible to continue this as a tourist? While on holiday, these aspirations don’t disappear for me, but the challenges are sometimes different and the boundaries between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ become blurred. … More What Is An Ethical Traveller?
So you want to buy a new laptop or a smart phone, but you’ve read about numerous social and environmental impacts during their lifecycles. You’ve learnt about polluting production processes – the leaching of toxic chemicals and the heavy reliance on fossil fuels. You are aware that making electronics requires the mining of minerals which … More Computer Buying Tips for the Ethically Minded
Teaching Burmese migrants here in Thailand, I hear of their stories, their struggles and their aspirations: their predicament often dominates my thoughts. While working with a migrant population is a new experience for me, migration itself is woven into my heritage. Aotearoa/New Zealand, where I grew up, is a country founded on migration. My ancestors predominantly … More The Migrant’s Plight
Reflecting on my life so far, I’m not entirely sure when or how my ‘sustainability journey’ began. Perhaps it was when I wrote about conservation as a nine-year-old, “In our environment we have lots of beautiful things. We want to keep these things so they are still here for our children’s children.” … More Sustainability: A Journey not a Destination
Sustainability is a concept I often mention to people I meet, often producing blank faces or a response like “What’s that?… Like environmental stuff?… So, are you a greenie/tree-hugger/environmental loon/hippie…?”
It appears to me that sustainability is not a term that is well understood in the general public or one that people can easily relate to. People often associate ‘the environment’ with it. … More Sustainability: an Exquisite Fabric