What made you become involved with Earth Hour and WWF?
The thought that future generations won’t get to see the nature and wildlife that we take for granted today keeps me awake at night. That’s why I believe it’s so important to support organisations such as WWF fighting to protect our planet and ensure humans and nature thrive together. Getting involved in WWF’s Earth Hour helps to raise awareness of some of the biggest issues currently affecting all of us and the future of our planet. They’re the ones that can feel too big to tackle by yourself, so getting involved in a global campaign makes huge sense.
When did you discover your love of nature?
I have felt connected to nature since I was very young. Growing up in the countryside gave me an intimate love and affinity for the world around me. It is only when you are taken away from it that you realise how much it has a positive and grounding effect on you. It amazes me to think I sometimes took it for granted.
How has your concern for the planet influenced the choices you make?
I think loving nature and animals makes you realise how much everything is interconnected. What we eat, drink, wear and drive are all life choices that affect the environment. When I initially started feeling an urge to do everything I could to save the planet I became more aware of the lifestyle choices I myself make and have made changes such as using a refillable coffee cup and having a vegetarian diet.
What struck you most about your recent trip to Greenland with WWF?
The effects of climate change on an area like Greenland are easy to see as it is on the frontline of change. We saw one of the largest glaciers in the world and learnt that it is retreating at an unprecedented speed, meaning the sea level is rising at a rate never seen before. We also saw some stunning scenery – the light bouncing off the icebergs was truly breath-taking. It breaks my heart to know that this precious part of the world is changing beyond recognition.
When did you first become worried about climate change?
I became more concerned as it became more prevalent in the news and on social media. As somebody passionate about the natural world, I immediately tuned into it. The science is there, the information is there, the ways you can change your life to help alleviate the effects are easy – we just need to all step up and do it!
One in six species is at risk of extinction due to climate change. Which animal holds the most fascination for you?
Polar bears are so dependent on the health of our planet. They are elusive and mysterious, but everyone knows what they look like and how fascinating and epic they are. I don’t want my children to grow up learning about species that became extinct because of their parents’ inaction.
Which one place are you most worried will be affected by climate change?
I have seen the decreasing glaciers with my own eyes. To see it that closely really does make it hit home. Continually rising sea levels, displacement of ecosystems and sea warming really will change everything we know.
What can people do to help tackle some of the effects of climate change?
Currently, over a third of the UK public say that they feel powerless and unable to have a positive impact on the wellbeing of our planet. We need to make people feel empowered! Small changes are important. Seemingly small alterations in our day-to-day lives, can add up to a significant effect on the environment. Cutting the amount of meat we eat, using a reusable coffee cup and turning down plastic straws and cutlery, or perhaps switching to a green energy supplier – all of these help to reduce the impact you have on the world around you. Together, these actions contribute towards protecting our shared home – the planet.
Visit www.wwf.org.uk/EarthHour for more information and to make your #PromiseForThePlanet this Earth Hour
Images: Tristan Fewings