Words | Jimmy García | Master of Environment | IG @chaimien
It’s hard to care more about nature when we have so much more “urgent” stuff constantly keeping us busy. The relatively slow threat of environmental collapse lacks that urgency punch we feel when we need to pay bills or meet a deadline at Uni or work. Maybe that’s the reason why we don’t change. Or maybe we think that because we live in cities, the melting glaciers, the coral bleaching and the burning forests are not really our business. It’s not like we’re deliberately trying to fuck the planet. “It’s not really my fault” we all seem to think. Besides, what can one possibly do to fight a crisis of planetary proportions, when there are entire nations and industries destroying everything on an overwhelming scale?
I’m all about the social aspect of the environment. Every major environmental issue involves human activities. We are the problem, there is no way around it, and it’s scientifically proven. Our excessive demand of resources, our lifestyles, our obsession with money. Development and progress in terms of money, where happiness is abundance and success is profit. Even freedom means economic freedom. The monetization of everything is our disease. Our relationship with nature is the problem.
The good news is that positive change also relies completely on us. Every potential solution to the climate crisis involves our actions. Almighty science alone can’t save us from this one. Neither can technology. We need to engage and do stuff. Small things if you will, big things if you can. Only our collective efforts can heal the planet. Even better: our collective power can shape the economy and the political discourse. But we need to care more, to love nature more.
Love is a very powerful thing. We protect what we love. The first thing then is to reconnect with nature. To feel the awe, to be humbled and mind-blown. We are nature too. It’s in us.
Let’s be out more, feel the sun, dive in the sea, get lost in the forest, climb a mountain, sleep under the stars. Love nature again, get attached to it. Then find your own way to do something. Recycle, buy sustainably, eat better, protest, donate… whatever works for you. Just get on board already!
My thing has been cycling, and it hasn’t even been a sacrifice. It happened organically. I started in Mexico City using public bicycles because the traffic there is madness, and I immediately loved the freedom that came with it. No tickets, no parking fees, no registration papers, no insurance, no fuel, no traffic… and yeah, no emissions. Instead some good cardio, panoramic views and adventure-vibes. In fact, I believe riding is so uncomplicated it changes your mood and your entire mindset. It takes you to different places. Fast forward a few years in my story, I’m crossing Cuba by bike with some friends for over a month. Ain’t that the definition of positive change right there. So simple, so rewarding and yet a pretty big deal in terms of sustainable actions when you consider that the transport sector is one of the biggest contributors of carbon emissions and climate change.
I haven’t owned a car in almost 10 years now and I don’t think I ever will again. And don’t get me wrong, I love driving on the open road listening to my music but I’d rather just rent a car when that happens or take an Uber once in a while, get in the backseat and relax. Easy.
Here in Sydney, I got my awesome second-hand bike from another MQU student for $50 AUD. It’s not much but it does the job. I spruced her up, gave her some love and now we’re cool. I’m collaborating with the Mq Cycling Network (IG @MqCyclingNetwork) to create awareness and inspire others to ride. They know A LOT about cycling. They can advise you on the best routes around campus, the end-of-trip facilities, safety basics, mechanics, news and events. Reach them at email@example.com if you need some advice and if you need a little boost to find the courage and start riding.
Or maybe just find your own way to get involved. It is your problem too, you know?