Molly Thompson's thoughts on Climate Consciousness

[In response to E4 - Climate consciousness, a new National cycling trail and the #WeTwo polar expedition ]


1. Climate awareness and being in the outdoors should go hand in hand. My understanding of the climate crisis and ways in which to protect the environment have come from my love of the outdoors and from a young age I was aware that you protect what you love. If we want to continue to use these spaces we need to be respectful while we're there but also do what we can to prevent the worsening of the climate in all we do.


2. Outdoor clothing and equipment is not good for the environment. We have this excessive need to buy nice new "modern equipment" that is going to make our outdoor experience better, whether it's a fancy waterproof jacket to stop us getting wet or a rope for our safety. The trouble is this is exactly the same as buying lots of clothes from Primark or H&M only we get the higher price tag. There is still the ethical concerns and some of the chemicals used in waterproofing are causing pollution in areas they are being produced . We need to exercise awareness of what we're consuming, do I need that new backpack (what's wrong with what I'm using)? Can I borrow from someone else and lend to others or is there a scheme to hire from a outdoor shop near where I'm going? Can I buy second hand? It's a great way for those trying to get into the outdoors if we're open to lending and making it cheaper.

3. Same goes for food, most food designed for expeditions etc. are covered in plastic and made to be light and calorie dense. All that processing and packaging adds so much carbon to the atmosphere, there a some scary statistics to suggest food and good waste are one of the biggest contributors to the carbon emissions (sorry I don't have these numbers to hand). Can we build in more sustainable ways to eat such as packing more fruit? Packing lightweight meals in reusable sandwich bags?

4. You mentioned transport. This is so difficult to manage as accessing the outdoors is often remote and hard without a car. But is this just an excuse? If we demand more public transport options and support them then this will be viable to many people. Do we need to take 2 cars or can we car pool? How about we challenge ourselves and make getting there part of the experience, can we bike and catch the train? Can we hitchhike (obviously not everyone is comfortable with that but would more people consider it an option?)

Finally I feel we have an immense responsibility as a community to address and raise awareness of the climate emergency as we are the ones that are seeing what we will loose if and when the planet reaches higher global temperatures. Thank you for bringing it to the attention, we can always do more. We should do more. We should be uncomfortable about the way the environment is, not to blame or shame anyone but always with that drive to do more in the capacity we have.

Hope you are doing well, look forward to hearing what comes next.

Molly Thompson